Mossdale Ben chance at Marlborough "but it won't be easy"
By Jonny Turner
Ben Hope hopes class will take Mossdale Ben a long way in today’s Marlborough Cup Prelude.
Mossdale Ben goes into the 2400m handicap with clear top billing given the elite races he has contested this spring and summer.
With two strong trial efforts to warm up for his trip north, Mossdale Ben looks primed to run a big race on Friday.
But Hope knows the pacer will need to call on his class to win from his 30m handicap.
“He has trialled well and we are expecting him to run a nice race,” Hope said.
“The 30m handicap over the 2400m won’t be easy but he is a horse that has raced at the very top level.”
“I think a horse of his class can probably do some things that others in the race probably can’t.”
“So even if he has to sit back he should be able to be going pretty close.”
“The 2800m of the second day will definitely suit him better, but we still expect him to go pretty good on Friday.”
The Greg and Nina Hope barn also starts another Mossdale on Friday in Mossdale Margaret.
The mare impressed when powering home from well off the pace to run fourth in her last start on grass.
“She went great last start, she is a nice wee filly that we have a bit of time for,” Hope said.
“She is in great form and she loves the grass so hopefully she can go another nice race.”
Anna’s Boy goes into race 8 after being freshened since his last start on the West Coast Christmas circuit.
The trotter sits third in Seddon Shield Summer Trotters' Series and the Hope team is hopeful the horse can rack up more points.
“He is right in the Seddon trotting series and hopefully he can go another good race, he loves the grass and he has been working well.”
Krystal Delight, starting in race 11, rounds out the Hope team.
The mare looks in need of some luck when starting from the outside of the second row.