A G's White Socks coasts to victory in the Easter Cup. Photo: Race Images
Now everyone might start believing Greg Hope when he says A G’s White Socks is a good horse.
It was almost 12 months ago that Hope prompted other stable clients to buy in to the son of Rock N Roll Heaven after then breeder/sole owner Pat Laboyrie received a large offshore offer.
Hope can rightfully feel vindicated after the four-year-old’s win Saturday’s Group 1 $100,000 Easter Cup at Addington.
“I’ve always liked him and said he’s a good horse,” he said. “It’s taken a while to get him sorted, but I think, judging by that - we might be getting somewhere.”
Owned by Hope, Laboyrie, Peter Bakin, Vicky Robertson, Wayne and Connie Stewart and Allan and Barbara Pullar, A G’s White Socks is from top producing mare, Atomic Gold, the dam of well-performed pacer Power of Tara.
He’s now won six of 21 with nine placings and the fun is just beginning.
Eight days after leading up and setting a solid tempo only to be run past down the straight, Ricky May produced one of those typically brilliant drives he is famous for to have the big gelding in all the right places and get him to the line first.
“I think the key was to get him to relax and we did that today,” May said. “He just jogged up to them, then started to prick the ears and look about it - he did it quite easy.”
May claimed his seventh Easter Cup success after victories with Terror To Love, Monkey King (2), Baileys Dream, Blue Chip Rock and Inky Lord previously.
The attention will now turn to the two four-year-old features at Alexandra Park - the Taylor Mile and the NZ Messenger - and that might be it for the season.
“If we want to focus on the Cup we might have to miss the Jewels, it’s a 50/50 call at this stage but I would suggest we might not be there.”
More The Better, who led the entire way and walked his way through the first mile before winding up over the final half of the race, fought bravely but was no match for the winner. Tiger Thompson, who made a mid-race move was a brave third.
Things went from great to even better half-an-hour later for the Hopes and May combination when Enghien got his act together to win the Four and Five-Year-Old Trotting Championships.
After making mistakes in his two runs prior to Saturday, the promising son of Love You never put a foot wrong and ran his rivals into the deck over the final 1000 metres, coasting to the line.
It was Enghien’s seventh black-type win and puts him in good stead for upcoming features, should the Hope team decide to press on towards other trotting features which remain this season.