Hopes and Dunn double up

John Dunn got a box seat view of Highgrove’s competition when driving the promising Mr Love to victory at Addington on Thursday night.

Dunn played super-sub for the Greg and Nina Hope stable for the suspended Ben Hope, driving the smart three-year-old and his stablemate Jack Ryan to victory.

Dunn admitted his own smart three-year-old Highgrove may have some stiff competition coming up following Mr Love’s smart win in race 4.

“He has always been a nice horse this fellow, but time is going to be his best friend,” the reinsman said.

“We better watch out with Highgrove I think.”

“As a two-year-old he shaped up and got the job done.”

“The good thing with the shuffle around of the season is that it gives horses like him a bit more time to develop.”

Dunn and the Hopes doubled up when Jack Ryan powered to an impressive win in race 5.

After leading up, the five-year-old powered away from his rivals to score by four and a half lengths.

“He is one of thoses horse that just keeps going, the tougher they go the better he likes it,” Greg Hope said.

“He has won like that before when Ben has done it.”

“You have got to pick the right races, it was a drop back for him.”

Friday night’s wins took Greg and Nina Hope to second on the national trainer’s premiership with 19 wins at this very early stage of the new season.

Greg Hope puts his stable’s hot form down to timing.

“As a rule, if you have followed our stable most of them start winning after Christmas.”

“We are having a great run at the moment and winning a bunch of races, but it will slow up.”

There are plenty more chances for the Hopes to rack up wins this week with their stable starting two horses at Winton on Friday and another four at Methven on Sunday.

The Hope’s stable star Muscle Mountain heads to Addington next week.

“He is going to race next week.”

“2000m is probably not ideal but it is good he is only off 20m and we are more than happy with him.”

Ben Hope returns from suspension just in time to reunite with the classy squaregaiter.


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