Up and down week for Hopes
By Jonny Turner
The Hope family got some small recompense after their champion trotter Monbet went amiss this week when they scored a winning double at Oamaru yesterday.
Monbet is out of all racing and will have an extended spell after pulling up with a leg injury after trialling at Ashburton last week.
Trainers Greg and Nina Hope are facing the prospect that Monbet will be retired, despite the injury not being as serious as some of the trotter's previous problems.
Bringing the horse back to trotting's top level took its toll on Monbet, and Greg Hope believes it is directly responsible for Monbet going amiss last week.
The scenario means there is little incentive for the Hopes to try again after Monbet's recovery.
"With the handicapping system the way it is there is not much point bringing him back," Greg said.
"He isn't retired yet, but he could be - we will make a decision later on.
"He was just coming back to it, but by the time we got there it had taken its toll on him."
There are plenty of trotters ready to continue the success among Monbet's family while he is out of action.
Crazy N Love is among them, and she looks set to rack up more wins, judging by her comfortable maiden victory.
The 3yr-old is a close relation to Monbet, being by his sire Love You from The Earth Moved, a half-sister to the top trotter's dam.
The Hopes have handled Crazy N Love patiently after she has shown them plenty of promise since being broken in.
Their opinion of the filly helped convince the trainers to purchase this year's trotting sales topper at this year's national yearling sales.
"We had her up and going as a 2yr-old and took her to a couple of trials with no intention of racing her until this season," Greg said.
"We really liked her and that made us want to buy the horse that topped the trotting sale this year."
Crazy N Love is a full sister by blood to the Hopes' $110,000 purchase, King Of Love.
The 2yr-old is by Love You from Deidre's Jewel, a full sister to the dam of Crazy N Love.
It is unlikely the Hopes will be bidding on the next foal from Diedre's Jewel.
The yearling colt is by veteran pacing sire Falcon Seelster.
It is understood the mare was served with frozen semen from the now dead stallion mistakenly, and she was to have been put in foal again to Love You.
Junior driver Ben Hope drove Melody Pond to win race 2 for his parents after reining Crazy N Love home in race 1.
The Hopes' week could continue to get better at Addington tonight and at Ashburton on Monday.
The trainers are hopeful A G's White Socks will put in an improved performance in the Ashburton Flying Stakes.
The 6yr-old ran poorly by his usual standards when battling to sixth behind Ultimate Sniper in his last start at Addington.
The horse has worked well this week and is set to go a better race this time, Greg Hope said.
Seven All Stars pacers and Australian raider Our Uncle Sam are among A G's White Socks 10 opponents in the 2400m feature.