Tahlia Hope returns to racing with a bang

Steve Bennett Steve Bennett
  • Tahlia Hope makes a successful return to racing
Tahlia Hope returns to racing Tahlia Hope - back racing again


Victorian rider Tahlia Hope made every post a winner for her return to racing after steering her only mount to success at Werribee on Saturday.

Hope was struck down with viral meningitis in July last year which saw her hospitalised for 12 days, followed by a long recovery.

The 21-year-old apprentice made her long-awaited return to racing at Werribee on Saturday where she was booked for two rides on the program.

After one of her mounts, Pachino Boy, was scratched from the final race of the day, that left her with just one ride, the Patrick Payne-trained Zed Em who was sent out a clear $3 favourite for the sixth race of the day.

Clearly riding to instructions from Payne, Hope had the race favourite settled a clear last early, and at one stage was more than four lengths behind the pack as they raced across the back of the track.

The Grand Annual Steeplechase winner was travelling well, despite being some 12 lengths from the leader as they passed the 1000m mark.

Hope showed no signs of panic or impatience as she gave the nine-year-old more rein and a dig in the ribs to which he responded and he quickly circled the field.

Travelling six and seven wide, Hope had the gelding in front by the time the field had straightened and from there, it was just a case of by how far.

Just four timely slaps with the persuader and they raced away to a comfortable two length victory.

On a heavy 10 track, Hope did it tough after drawing wide in gate nine and having to carry 62kgs over the 2000m journey.

It was a welcomed return to racing for Hope, riding a winner with her only ride for the day.