As the sun prepares to set over Sandown Hillside on Wednesday evening, it will mark a new dawn for Lee Hope’s training career.
Hope and granddaughter Tahlia will combine with Big Brew in the $50,000 50 Year Life Member – Michael Scarcella (1300m), a Benchmark 64 handicap that completes Sandown Hillside’s eight-race card at 6:30pm (AEDT).
Tahlia Hope’s first winner in the saddle, as a 4kg-claiming apprentice having just her second ride, came aboard her grandfather’s horse Danvito at Kilmore on November 1, 2015, while Big Brew will be Hope senior’s first runner in more than three years.
“I think she’s pretty excited again to have a ride for Pa,” Lee Hope said.
Big Brew is unfancied to win at Sandown Hillside on Wednesday, with Sportsbet assessing the six-year-old Magnus gelding as a $41 chance.
Big Brew’s two wins outside maiden grade have been over the mile and 1850 metres respectively but have also been in Benchmark 64 handicaps off a mark of 61, the same rating Big Brew carries into Wednesday’s race.
“It’s a bit short for him, he will need the outing on what he’s shown us,” Hope said.
“But he needs a starting point, Sandown is a good track and the distance over 1300 metres fits in well.
“He is a lovely horse, but his distance seems to be 1600 to 1800 metres.”
Hope senior has 27 boxes at his Kilmore base and intends to grow his stable, with nine horses on his books currently.