NEW Zealand trainer Greg Hope paid tribute to a recovering Ricky May following tonight’s Ballarat Cup.
Hope captured the Group One with A G’s White Socks – the pacer May was driving when he died midrace earlier this month.
Thankfully May, who was diagnosed as suffering hypertrophic obstructive cardiomyopathy, is on the road back to health.
“At a time like this I’m thinking of Ricky,” Hope said. “Ricky died while driving him and is lucky to still be with us.
“He is determined to drive again and has 3000 wins in his sight, which I think he needs about another 80.
“Hopefully Ricky will be back in the cart behind A G’s White Socks one day.”
With catch driver Greg Sugars pushing forward, A G’s White Socks found the lead from barrier four as Code Bailey was settled in the ‘death seat’.
Fending off the initial challenge turning for home, the son of Rock N Roll Heaven staved off a late challenge from Self Assured to score by a metre-and-a-half.
Chase Auckland, a stablemate of the runner-up, was a half-head away third.
“I’m very happy with his run,” Hope said. “He has been racing very well and was ready to win a nice race like this.”
Part-owned by Hope, who co-trains with his wife Nina, A G’s White Socks rated 1:56.1 over 2710 metres.
To be given an easy few days, the six-year-old will then be primed for the A G Hunter Cup at Tabcorp Park Melton in a fortnight.
Should he perform to expectations A G’s White Socks will then be taken to New South Wales for the Miracle Mile Carnival.
Australasia’s premier sprint is scheduled to be conducted at Tabcorp Park Menangle on March 7.
“He will have a few easy days now then race next in the Hunter Cup,” Hope said. “If he handles that well and then the travelling he will be aimed at the Miracle Mile in Sydney.”