Soundslikeart too good for Ben Hope
Soundslikeart looked a certainty beaten in her most recent start at Motukarara, but today in the hands of Woodend junior Ben Hope, was too good in junior drivers company, also on that track. The win was her first since coming to New Zealand and the third of her 22 start career.
As has been documented previously, Ben Hope has had a fine record since pairing up with the stable for the junior drivers events. Today's win was the 5th from just nine drives, an impressive strike rate. Although pre-race, the young man must have been wondering what he was driving, the mare being particularly fractious in the parade ring.
Having drawn the inside of the second line, it was a decision made early in the race by Ben that ultimately proved a masterstroke.
"I thought I would see what sort of gatespeed the one drawn in front of me had," said Ben.
"As soon as I saw that horse was struggling to hold it's spot, I hopped off into the one-out line."
In a race where there were plenty of moves, especially down the backstraight, Ben chose to sit in, backing the speed of his charge to get over top of them."
"While we were a fair way back, the field did compress a lot coming over the top."
"I asked her to get going about the 600m and she really took off showing a sharp turn of speed, almost hitting the lead turning in."
"In some respects, we probably hit the lead a bit too easily, especially up that long straight."
"She fought really well over the last 100m though and to finish it off the way she did was a good effort."
In terms of horses that Ben has driven, he certainly found this, one of his more difficult drives.
"She has got a few tricks, that's for sure."
"I was also conscious of that fact that John said that she is not keen on the whip, so had that on my mind also."
Soundslikeart is an Art Major 4yo mare, out of Sounds Alive. Owned by Yabby Dam Farms Pty she has steadily improved in each of her New Zealand starts.
Ben Hope felt that based on what he saw today, this won't be her last win.
"She has got that speed which is so important."
Our two other runners today were Hayden's Meddle and Spot On in the Motukarara Cup. Both horses finished well back in the big 18 horse field. The race was won by outsider Homebush Lad reined home by none other Ben Hope, at big odds.
Soundslikeart registers her first New Zealand win driven by Ben Hope
Posted: Sun 29 Dec 2019