The Trotter of the Year Awards in August will apparently have some marital relationship implications, as the top two horses are both trained by the husband/wife team of Greg and Nina Hope.
There may be some awkward silences around the brekkie table come award season.
Monbet is considered the best of the New Zealand trotter, but the horse has raced just three times this season, winning every time out. Two of those three wins were the highest possible quality, at the same time establishing new records in the Dominion and NA Free-For-All. Those Monbet wins came before some minor fitness issues sidelined him for the season.
The other horse trained by the Hopes is Enghien, like Monbet also a foal from French stallion Love You. Enghien may not have the pure, raw talent of Monbet, but the three-year-old has had the far better season, winning eight of nine attempts. He would be nine-for-nine but for the fact that he broke stride and galloped in that race.
Enghien has also won the races that matter, the trotting Derbies, the Harness Jewels, the Sires’ Stakes and the Sales Series. He even won a race when his driver had to rein him in during a recent race, rather than risk another infraction for not trotting properly.
Enghien is still competing and has a trip to Victoria for two more Group 1 races.
Levity aside, it would seem as though things in the Hope household are going swimmingly, as whichever horse wins, they still both Hopes have a hand in the outcome of the Trotter of the Year Award, so it would seem that it is a win-win situation for the husband and wife team, unlike the case of Adam and Eve, when Abel was the clear favourite son.