Brave Copy That can do the Group One double, says Ray - “he’s the best I’ve had by a mile”
Don’t make the mistake of thinking Copy That is just a sprinter, says Lincoln Farms’ trainer Ray Green who has his sights on a Group One double.
Copy That showed so much courage to win tonight’s Taylor Mile at Alexandra Park after a mid-race savaging, Green believes he can complete the double next Friday night in the NZ Messenger Championship (2700m).
“It was a good tough win tonight,” Green said. “In the past he’s romped in. This time Maurice said he had to do a bit to get to the lead so he’s shown good resolve to hold them off.”
The early lead wasn’t there for Maurice McKendry and Copy That who took 400 metres to get past Kango and Steel The Show.
But once there, McKendry said Copy That travelled easily and, despite being attacked hard by Bad To The Bone all of 800 metres from home, drove beautifully in the very slushy conditions.
“Nobody likes sand kicked in their face - it’s got to affect some horses - so I was hoping we’d end up in front.
“But to be honest halfway up the straight I thought he’d get rolled.”
With Bad To The Bone fighting hard and Steel The Show rallying up the passing lane, Copy That had to really man up, which he did, clocking fabulous closing sectionals of 55.3 and 26.7 in the boggy ground for an overall time of 1:54.5.
“He’s a serious horse, the best I’ve had by a mile. He’s so consistent and handles any situation. Most of his wins have been off the front but he’s just as potent from off the pace.
“People make the mistake of thinking he’s just a sprinter but you saw the Auckland Cup, he was parked most of the way over 3200 metres and it didn’t worry him.”
Green said he now puts Copy That in the same league as Australian champion King Of Swing, who did his early racing for Lincoln Farms and has swept all before him in the last 12 months.
“We didn’t keep King Of Swing long enough to appreciate him but I’d put Copy That right up with him now.”
Green said while Amazing Dream might have looked good, dashing home late for fourth tonight, he was confident Copy That could handle the star mare again next week over the longer trip.
Copy That, raced by Melbourne’s Merv and Meg Butterworth, now boasts a record to 18 wins and eight placings from 34 starts, his bankroll $410,879.
Later in the night, Green scored with his only other runner, Louie The Punter, who justified heavy support to score at $2.40.
Green had been confident of a big showing with the rapidly improving horse last week but was robbed of a start by a power blackout in Greenlane.
Tonight, driver Zachary Butcher was able to land an early trail behind Hesashorething and found too much kick up the passing lane to win by one and a quarter lengths in 2:42.9.
“I thought he was going to be hung out early but he was lucky to get in on the leader’s back and got a good trip,” Green said.
“It wasn’t a stellar bunch but a win’s a win,” said Green who has been taken by the improvement shown by the big Sweet Lou three-year-old.
“Louie in 2:42 on a wet track, who would have thought he could do that six months ago? It shows you can’t condemn them until they’re dead.”
Louie The Punter, a brother to the stable’s former consistent pacer Double Or Nothing, is raced by John and Lynne Street in partnership with Glenn Cotterill and his mum Ann who enjoyed earlier success with Lincoln Farms’ iron horse Strike The Gold.
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Our runners this week
Saturday night at Albion Park
Our runners this week: How our trainer rates them
Friday night at Auckland
Race 2: Frisco Bay
“He obviously needed the run last week. He pulled his way round the field and sat outside the leader but he couldn’t cop a run like that first-up and got tired. The ability is there, whether he’s fit enough or not we’ll find out. But I expect him to go well, the three draw is much better than last week.”
Race 2: Lenny Lincoln
“He’ll probably need a race but he’s capable of running a slot. He’s unlucky not to have won a race, all three of his seconds were good. He’s got a bit better with each of his trials this time in and he got home well last Saturday, after coming widest on the turn.”
Race 3: Obadiah Dragon
“The way the race was run at Cambridge last week, his effort wasn’t bad at all. Moni (Monika Ranger) said he felt strong and, if he’d been a few slots closer, he would have been right in it. He’ll be improved for the run.”
Race 3: Leo Lincoln
“He’s very consistent - he’s only missed a couple of cheques. But he’s another just coming back and should improve with the run.”