Otago Daily Times

Hope con­tin­ues run on Easy Pick­ings


- JONNY TURNER Sports · Horse Racing · Oamaru · Australia · New Zealand · Addington

JU­NIOR driver Ben Hope’s win­ning trot con­tin­ued at Oa­maru yes­ter­day with Easy Pick­ings.

Easy Pick­ings nosed out She’s Allthe Craze to win race 9, the Oa­maru meet­ing’s fea­ture 2600m trot.

Af­ter dis­ap­point­ing in his last start when forced to do work midrace, Hope saved the Quite Easy trot­ter for one late run.

Easy Pick­ings sus­tained a long sprint from the 700m to score by a head at the fin­ish.

“He has got a bit of speed and he has got a lot of gate speed too,” Hope said.

“In this grade he is re­ally com­pet­i­tive, but in the next one he has to take his turn un­til he drops back.

“He would suit rac­ing in Aus­tralia.”

Hope’s win with Easy Pick­ings backed up his highly im­pres­sive vic­tory at Ad­ding­ton on Fri­day night with Mus­cle Moun­tain when the 6yrold out­sprinted his ri­vals in race 9.

The 4yr­old, trained by the driver’s mother and fa­ther, Greg and Nina Hope, pro­duced an out­stand­ing per­for­mance when beat­ing top­class trot­ters in his first at­tempt in free­for­all com­pany de­spite through­out.

“We were rapt; he went su­per,” Hope said.

“Ma­jes­tic Man prob­a­bly raced be­low where he usu­ally can, but at the end of the day he still had to do it.”

Hope re­ported Mus­cle Moun­tain has pulled up well af­ter dig­ging deep for his tough vic­tory.

“He is prob­a­bly a bit tired, but he hasn’t shown any signs of it.”

“We try to look af­ter him be­tween his races be­cause he tries so hard and takes so much out of him­self.”



The Hope camp will be re­ly­ing on a good boost to Mus­cle Moun­tain’s rank­ing for the New Zealand Trot­ting Free­For­All from his Ad­ding­ton win. The Hope sta­ble is not plan­ning to start their 4y­old be­fore the New Zealand Cup day fea­ture.

If the horse does not leapfrog oth­ers into the race when the rank­ings are up­dated this week, Mus­cle Moun­tain could also gain a start when other horses ranked above him with­draw.

The Oa­maru meet­ing’s fea­ture pace, race 8, was won by Un­der Wraps for trainer Gra­ham Court and driver Blair Or­ange.

Un­der Wraps dropped into the 2600m mo­bile af­ter clashes with smart types at Ad­ding­ton starts.

❛ He has got a bit of speed and he has got a

lot of gate speed too

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