Copy That is at the airport today for a flight to Melbourne.

Ballarat is a long way to go for a scan but no expense being spared with Copy That

Given Copy That has earned $2 million, trainer Ray Green says it’s understandable owners Merv and Meg Butterworth are sparing no expense flying the horse to Australia to further investigate his injury.

Green says it’s become more apparent from the latest X-rays of Copy That’s knee that he will need surgery before returning to the track. But because there is a limit to what can be seen on X-rays, the horse is off the Victoria so he can be checked out with an MRI scanner.

The dual New Zealand Cup winner is flying to Melbourne today and will be at the Ballarat Veterinary Clinic by tonight.

“There’s a little bit of wear and tear on that knee which needs to be cleaned up. It’s yet to be determined how serious it is but it’s actually quite common in racing horses.

“But we want to do an MRI to determine if there’s anything else sinister going on that we don’t know about - if there’s something in the joint that’s not visible on X-ray.”

While Copy That has been under the expert care of Barbara Hunter at Matamata Veterinary Services, the Ballarat clinic has the only MRI scanner in this part of the world that allows horses to be examined while standing.

When horses come out of a general anaesthetic they can do catastrophic injuries to themselves trying to regain their feet, something which the Butterworths are not prepared to risk.

“It’s an expensive exercise going to Australia but the horse has earned a lot of money so he’s paying his own flight and doctor’s bills.

“He deserves the best possible treatment and Merv trusts the people at Ballarat.”

It was the clinic’s Dr Brian Anderson who was in charge of Copy That’s treatment and recovery when he fractured his stifle on a previous campaign to Australia.

“The MRI will allay any fears and hopefully by early next week we can speak with more authority about his future.

“I don’t profess to be an expert on these things but knowing the horse, and how he’s been in recent weeks, my gut feeling is he’s got a very good chance of racing again. Put it this way, I’m a lot more optimistic than I was when he first went lame.”

Our runners this week: How our trainers rate them

Ray Green

Ray’s comments

Friday night at Auckland

Race 1: Obadiah Dragon

“He’s the lowest rated in the field, so it will be tough for him, but he’s racing really well. He just doesn’t need any bad luck.”

Race 4: Lincoln La Moose

“You won’t see the best of him on Friday. It’s his first race since April and he’ll definitely need the run.”

Race 6: My Copy

“He’s no champion but he’s very honest and is always capable of finishing in the money. He only needs a fair crack at them.”

Race 7: Tyson

“You can forget about that debut run, it was a non-event for him the way the race panned out. He got way too far back and would need to have clocked ridiculous times to get into it. He has speed and feels like a nice horse but he’s very inexperienced. I wouldn’t expect him to round the others up but he won’t be disgraced.”

Race 7: Lincoln Lou

Update: Scratched on vet’s advice

“He’s a very nice colt. He’s a lot stronger this time in and he could develop into a serious horse. If he repeats his last run, he’ll be hard to beat. I think he might have the wood on Sugar Ray. He has better manners and probably a bit more speed too.”

Race 7: Sugar Ray Lincoln

“He won comfortably last time despite being three wide for much of the last lap and four wide turning for home. He’s a very good colt. There’s not much between him and Lincoln Lou.”

Race 9: Commander Lincoln

“He’s as honest as they come, he’d die for you, but he lacks a yard of sharp speed to be a serious horse. He has a draw upgrade and drops in class but things have to pan out for him.”

Mark Dux

Mark Dux’s comments

Friday night at Albion Park

Race 8: Captain Nemo
6.33pm NZ time

“It’s not an easy race and, from an average draw, we’ll drive him quietly again so he’ll be at the mercy of the tempo. If he gets the right trip, I could see him hitting the line well and sneaking into the money but after this run to tighten him up he’ll be all set to go, close to winning.”

Les Harding

Les Harding

Saturday night at Port Pirie

Race 5: Beaudiene Rocknroll
10.02pm NZ time

“I’m very happy with him and confident he’ll run a top race but it’s hard to predict how he’ll measure up given this is a big step-up in class compared with the horses he has raced against for his last two wins.”

Race Images - Harness