News Briefs : April 5

800 wins for Greg and Nina Hope

When Jack Tar won at Addington on Sunday it marked the 800th training success for the husband and wife combo of Greg and Nina Hope. The 800 wins have come from 5933 starts, dating back to 2001, with Greg having 108 on his account (1987-2001) before joining forces with Nina. Their most successful season was the 84 winners they had in 2017. Among their stable stars then were Enghien and A G's White Socks. Son Ben is now on the verge of a major milestone too - he has driven 197 winners since his first with the appropriately named Benhope Rulz at Kurow in 2017. The highest profile wins for Team Hope of late have been with superstar trotter Muscle Mountain who has won his last five races in a row, including last Friday's Group 1 Fred Shaw Memorial NZ Trotting Championship.

Sundees Son's sister delivers at Addington

It's taken six starts but Sunnys Sister is off the mark. The three-year-old sibling of the great Sundees Son galloped at the start and lost a stack of ground before tacking on and then winning the Cheviot Concrete and Amuri Ready Mix Trot by three lengths. It was an impressive performance. But of course any comparison with Sundees Son is not fair - he won 34 races and over $1.4m, and was twice named Horse of the year before his retirement earlier this year.

Spirit heading out west

Kiwi-bred star Spirit Of St Louis will add another chapter to his fantastic career on Friday night. The much-travelled gelding has raced throughout New Zealand, NSW, Queensland and Victoria. Now you can add Western Australia when he tackles the 2536m free-for-all at Gloucester Park on Friday. It’s his dress rehearsal for the inaugural $1mil Nullarbor at the same track a week later. Spirit Of St Louis has run second in the past two Miracle Miles and was desperately unlucky when held-up and third at Menangle two weeks ago.

Captain Ravishing leaves gun stable

A change of trainer has been confirmed for brilliant four-year-old Captain Ravishing. He will leave Australia's top stable of Emma Stewart and Clayton Tonkin with owner Hass Taiba saying he will return to his brother Ahmed. Taiba says the main reason was that he wanted to focus on a Sydney-based lead-up to the $2.1mil TAB Eureka at Menangle on September 2.

Arty beaten in North America

Former Australian superstar Lochinvar Art has had his first defeat in North America, at the hands of Kiwi-bred Hemsworth who had one win with Kirk Larsen in this country before heading to Australia in 2019. Arty was five from five heading into the latest round of the MGM Borgata series only to be beaten by the second favourite. Hemsworth had seven wins from 15 starts in Australia last season. And there was no fairytale finish for Lancelot Bromac in his 500th appearance at Albion Park in Queensland yesterday. He's the first horse to reach the incredible milestone, the 13-year-old finishing fourth.

Accountable Persons goes on-line

A new and important service is now available online for all licence-holders. The "Accountable Person" for every horse needs to be registered with HRNZ. Licence-holders are now able to notify HRNZ that they are the Accountable Person or have stopped being the Accountable Person for a horse, through their My HRNZ account. To find out more click here

Clash of the legends

It's not long now to the clash of the 3000 club at Methven. Maurice McKendry, Ricky May and Tony Herlihy, the only three drivers to have driven 3000 winners in this country, will drive in six races at the Mt Harding racecourse on Sunday April 16. Remarkably the three have driven against each other 693 times over the years, though the last time all three were in the same race was in Auckland on December 14, 2019.


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