Greg & Nina Hope…The Earth Has Moved !

Rob Courtney

Woodend Beach trainers Greg & Nina Hope, just don’t train winners; they breed them as well.

And the Addington win of Freya (3f Volstead – The Earth Moved) in May continued a highly successful association with a breed that was initially imported then developed by the late Sir Roy McKenzie of Roydon Lodge fame.

Woodend Beach ‘near neighbour’ John Dunn (substituting for a suspended Ben Hope), secured the Volstead filly a beautiful trip in transit and she sprinted sharply up the passing lane for win no.1 at only her 4th raceday start.

Greg and Nina Hope with long time stable driver Ricky May

Freya is the 4th foal and 4th winner from The Earth Moved, 6 wins, (Monarchy – Dear Diedre) following on from the full relations (all by Love You) in Crazy N Love (3 wins), Mr Love (6 wins to date) and Torvi (1 win to date).

After Freya came a colt and a filly, both by Hopes trotting stallion Carlton (Dream Vacation – Another Love) but more about him later.

In late 2023 it was decided to let The Earth Moved go, with 4 of her daughters still in their ownership, and she is currently in foal to Habibi Inta for her new owners.

Dear Diedre (Sundon – Diedre’s Pride) won 2 and apart from The Earth Moved, left another 4 winners from just 7 foals and is a full sister to Diedre Darling, 1 win, the mother of arguably the best horse the Hopes have trained in Monbet (23 wins from just 37 starts including 11 Group 1s + $771k in stakes)


Muscle Mountain (32 wins from 52 starts) has won more money, $835k, and would be the other horse competing for ‘Hopes best’.

Diedre’s Pride won 21 races, racing from three through to 9yo and her first foal was Diedre Don (10 wins + $96k). He got his chance at stud, but like many colonial breds before him, he struggled to attract large books of mares.

Diedre Darling left only the four foals alongside Monbet, produced Donaldson (7 wins), McConway (2 wins) and Baxter (6 wins), all embellishing the Hopes training record.

Ben Hope with Freya on May 8 at Addington
(c) Race Images CHCH

“We purchased her out of the old ‘marketplace’ that used to be found in the Harness Racing Weekly publication when offered for sale by Roydon Lodge. I got a bit of stick over that purchase as she had only won the one race at Forbury Park but we wanted to get into the family and she was supposed to be in foal to Earl. That didn’t eventuate so we returned her to Earl and got Donaldson,” Greg Hope explained.

Unfortunately for the Woodend family, Diedre Darling did not leave a filly before she was lost so back they went to Roydon Lodge. By chance, the then one win The Earth Moved had become available as a racing & breeding proposition. The line now being established by Freya and her sisters takes on a greater relevance when assessing the future breeding plans and directions of Greg & Nina Hope.

Monbet was of course by Love You and the outstanding success with his progeny has Greg Hope, in particular, a true ‘believer’.

Diedre’s Jewel, a full sister to The Earth Moved, left a handy type in King Of Love (6 wins to date) running a 1:56 mile in Australia and as the name suggests, he is also by Love You.

The only other filly from Dear Diedre in Duchess Diedre (5 wins) left the smart Hurricane Hill (8 wins + 1:56.2) and her 2nd foal & only filly Show The Love (yes, by Love You) has been secured by successful southern ‘commercial’ breeders in John & Katrina Price.

Engheim (Love You – Another Starlet) was 2 & 3yo trotter of his year and was a multiple Group 1 winner amongst his 16 wins + $404k)

Another Starlet left Another Love, 5 wins (by Love You) and is the dam of Carlton.

About now, Greg & Nina Hope are starting to get excited about the prospects of their trotting stallion Carlton (Dream Vacation – Another Love)

Carlton, winning on debut at Addington
(c) Race Images CHCH

Breeders might remember that he was a ‘free service’ initially in his first season as the Hopes attempted to attract suitable mares.

His oldest stock are now 2. He has just 6 registered 2yos (3 colts + 3 fillies) and Carla Pixie (f. Carlton – Mega Pixels) went very close on debut (2nd) when well supported and looks a winner in waiting.

Carlton himself only had the 3 starts (1 win as a 2yo) but the stable was very bullish regarding his untapped potential and there are a couple of yearlings that look very promising indeed for the owner/breeders.

“He was a very precocious young horse with real ability but a serious injury curtailed what looked like being a very promising race career.

The yearling by Carlton from Crazy N Love is probably the most talented young trotter we have ever broken in at that stage and the mare will go back to Carlton next season. We also have Love Walked In, 2 wins, (you guessed it… Love You) whose grand dam is top mare Allegro Agitato (22 wins + $530k) and hopefully these bloodlines will get us on the map when it comes to trotting breeders and their potential stallion choices,” Greg Hope added.

“Supporting colonial bred stallions means the ‘money’ stays in NZ rather than going overseas and there are signs that with breeders support, the stock of Carlton can turn a few heads.”

Last season he stood at Wai Eyre farm for the princely sum of $500 + collection fees. Carlton – Wai Eyre Farm Canterbury New Zealand