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Hope banking on the weather for Proud Wolf

Co-trainer Shannon Hope is hoping for some rain for Proud Wolf (left) at Sandown.

Warm weather and no rain may be the preferred option for holiday makers but it’s not the ideal scenario for trainer Shannon Hope.

Based at Seymour, Hope, who trains in partnership with his father Lee, would like to see the forecast thunderstorms and rain arrive ahead of the Sandown meeting on Saturday when in-form galloper Proud Wolf is engaged in the Ladbrokes Info Hub Handicap.

Proud Wolf finished second to Got The Goss at Ballarat on a heavy track last month before running second to Tried And Tired at Pakenham on December 9.

Stellar Collison came out of that race to win the Christmas Stakes at Caulfield on Boxing day.

“The horse is probably in his best career form but the little question mark is it’s his ninth run for the campaign,” Hope said.

“I’m hoping we get some rain because I don’t want to be running him on a firm track like that one at Caulfield.

“He seems to be in the zone but if it’s too firm I might put him out or wait another week, but they do forecast some rain which is promising.”

Hope said he would be happy to run the gelding on a good four track, but if it was rated a three with prospects of firming up, then he was likely to stay at home.

If Proud Wolf does run on Saturday, he will be ridden by Hope’s apprentice daughter Tahlia.

Like Proud Wolf, Tahlia is in career-best form with seven winners from her past 20 rides.

It includes a career-high four winners at Echuca on December 20, followed by a double at Yarra Glen two days later.

“She’s riding on a high at the moment and her confidence is through the roof,” Hope said.

“It’s been a long time coming but she’s learning her craft now.

“She’s starting to read a race, read the play.”

Hope said his daughter, who is chasing her second metropolitan winner for the season, had come back from an injury enforced break hungry for success.

“She got hungry and is now working as hard as she’s ever worked,” Hope said.

“If she’s not riding a morning a fortnight at (Darren) Weir’s she’s riding at Archie Alexander’s or Dan McCarthy’s once a week.

“She’s spreading herself around and having a go.”

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