Harness Briefs

Hope thrilled with Enghien

Greg Hope is confident of normal transmission resuming at Addington Raceway on Friday night.

The Woodend Beach trainer, along with his wife Nina, will take a strong team to Premier racing at Addington, including their two big players at the moment, Enghien and A G’s Whitesocks.

All eyes will be on the heir apparent to the trotting throne in New Zealand after his flop in the Rowe Cup last month in Auckland, where he faded badly after finding the lead.

But punters will be able to draw plenty of confidence from the words of Hope, who is positively beaming about the horse.

“He’s flying; I couldn’t be happier with him,” Hope said.

“We’ll just put the Rowe Cup behind us, it was just one of those things.”

Often the biggest thorn in the side of Enghien is his gait, but even that’s really positive at the moment in the eyes of his trainer.

“He’s trotting really well; his gait is really good.

“I’d be very surprised if he did everything right and got beaten, we’re heading in very confident.”

A G’s White Socks will be out to claim revenge on Eamon Maguire after he beat the Taylor Mile and Easter Cup winner in the New Zealand Messenger.

The return to the 3200 metres, which seems the big pacer’s ideal distance, will give him the perfect opportunity to also make a claim as an early leading contender for the New Zealand Trotting Cup in November, especially with the constant stream of open class horse leaving our shores.

No Kung Fu at the Harness Jewels

Next month’s Harness Jewels has lost arguably its biggest name after the connections of Australian star Jilliby Kung Fu withdrew him on Wednesday.

“It’s with disappointment that I advise that I have been contacted by Marg Lee, the trainer of Jilliby Kung Fu, to tell me that they wish to withdraw him from the Jewels,” said Harness Racing New Zealand Racing Manager, Darrin Williams.

“Marg feels the horse is not quite right where she wants him to be heading towards such an important assignment.”

Jilliby Kung Fu, the Chariots of Fire winner and Miracle Mile placegetter, would have started favourite in the $150,000 4YO Emerald against the likes of Eamon Maguire, A G’s White Socks and Star Galleria.

Another Australian four-year-old, trotter Custodian, has had his transit to New Zealand delayed after coming developing a temperature yesterday.

“His trainer, Nathan Jack, remains upbeat about him taking his place on Jewels day,” said Williams.

“At this stage he will fly with the other Victorian horses closer to the Jewels.”

Custodian, a winner of the 2YO Ruby at Cambridge in 2016, will tackle the $125,000 4YO Ruby this time.

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