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Wayne and Fiona Keoghan are counting down the days until The Grins after drawing Copy That in the club’s sweepstake.

Geez Wayne! Rare night at the trots leads to chance of $50,000 collect on Copy That

Wayne Keoghan doesn’t follow the horses. He’d never heard of Copy That before today.

But on Friday night, there won’t be one person in the country more focussed on his run in the $1million The Race By Grins at Cambridge.

That’s because Keoghan stands to win $50,000 if Copy That takes out the big slot race after drawing the ruling favourite in Cambridge Raceway’s sweepstake.

That Keoghan, 57, even bought a ticket was remarkable considering he and his wife Fiona hadn’t been to the races for more than four years when they went with some family and friends last Thursday.

“It was a sheer fluke. We hadn’t been to the trots for I don’t know how long, it was well before Covid. But it was Easter weekend and we were going away in motorhome with a friend so we thought why not park up there on Thursday night and go on to Rotorua the next day.

“I was up at the bar and the girl asked would I like a ticket in a sweepstake. I heard her say if we got drawn, we’d win a minimum of $2000, and to be honest I didn’t even listen to the rest of what she was saying.”

Keoghan says they wouldn’t normally spend $100 on a lottery ticket but when he put it to his wife, “she hummed and haaa-ed for a while, then we decided we’d take a punt.

“We’re not big gambling people. We only bet a couple of dollars here and there and we actually lost all night last week, two placings were our best results. But we had a great night.”

Keoghan, who lives out the back of Karapiro, had no idea his number 232 came up in last evening’s draw until phoned by a friend of his wife who saw his name listed on Facebook.

And even when he discoverd he’d drawn a horse named Copy That he was still oblivious to the horse’s huge ability until he rang his brother whose partner reported: “Oh, that’s a good horse.”

Now Keoghan, who works for a company that imports motor home equipment, and his wife who runs the laundry at St Peters School, are counting down the days until The Grins.

And he’s even doing some swotting up on the opposition.

“I watched a video on Facebook and saw the horse drawn inside Copy That, Old Town Road, is driven by a Z. Butcher. We used to follow David and Philip Butcher way back when we went to the races.”

Keoghan reckons all the stars could be aligning for Friday night too.

“I see Nicholas Cage is in the race. My alias is NickCage. Someone reckoned I looked like him a few years ago and it stuck and now I use it as my email address.”

Horses also featured on his recent Rotorua break.

“We went horse riding on a farm in Rotorua for the first time in 25 plus years. It’s all lining up.”

Keoghan welcomes news that Copy That has finished first, second or third in 75% of his 62 starts for Lincoln Farms’ trainer Ray Green and owners Merv and Meg Butterworth, which would equate to a sweepstake collect of either $50,000, $20,000 or $12,000.

“But winning $2000 is fantastic too and anything above that would be a bonus.”

Keoghan still recalls the atmosphere at Cambridge the night Christian Cullen scored there in 1999 but you just sense Friday night’s excitement index could top even that.

Our runners this week

Saturday night at Albion Park

Captain Nemo.

Our runners this week: How our trainers rate them

Ray Green

Ray’s comments

Thursday night at Cambridge

Race 1: Major Achievement
5.19pm

“It’s his first race for a while and he hasn’t been setting the world on fire at the workouts. But he’s been racing better animals and this isn’t a stellar bunch. He’s a chance if things go his way. I’ve given Mathew Salaivao the drive.”

Race 1: Commander Lincoln
5.19pm

“He’s an average horse but the last time he raced here in amateur company he all but won. He’ll need luck from the second row but, while I couldn’t label him, he’s a runner’s chance.”

Race 5: Onyx Shard
6.59pm

“She got a bit sick for a while with a virus and I had to back off her. She seems over that now but I’m picking she’ll need a race. This will be like a glorified trial for her.”

Race 8: My Copy
8.14pm

“He came to the end of it so I gave him a little freshen-up and he seems in good shape again. It will be interesting to see how he goes fresh - he may need a race but he’ll appreciate the step-down in class. I’m running him here so he doesn’t come up against any bear cats first-up.”

Race 9: Lincoln Cove
8.47pm

“Hopefully he’s getting better but you’ve just got to take him on trust. He has ability but the desire has been sadly lacking. Zac will have to sit quietly on him as he broke when given only one tap with the stick last time. The small field will suit him as he won’t be too far off them. If he doesn’t make any mistakes, he’ll give them a fright.”

Ray Green

Ray’s comments

Friday night at Auckland

Race 3: Leo Lincoln
6.43pm

“Maurice said he would have finished a lot closer last time than sixth (fourth or even third) had he not locked wheels at the 100. That took all his momentum away. He’s been holding his form well and he gets out well enough to use the inside draw. He’s a chance to get some of the money.”

Race 5: Sugar Ray Lincoln
7.39pm

“He did have marks on his boot after his last run and trying a spreader on him has helped. But he’s a real baby. He has real ability but he’s still developing mentally and physically and we’re still finding our way with him.”

Race 5: Lincoln Lou
7.39pm

“He’s racing well but he’ll find it tough from the outside draw.”

Race 6: Debbie Lincoln
8.07pm

“I can’t see her improving enough to give the Purdon/Phelan trio a fright. She can go (fast) enough but still has a lot to learn. The main thing for her is getting round safely. She’s put two in a row now so hopefully she’ll start improving.”

Race 10: Lincoln La Moose
9.59pm

“He had an excuse last time - he got wiped out on the first corner and that was the end of his race. I like him, he’s a nice horse, just not quite as experienced as Frisco Bay.”

Race 10: Frisco Bay
9.59pm

“I lean towards Frisky as the better chance of our two. You can’t fault what he did the other night at Cambridge, and he seems to be on the improve. He’s more reliable than Lincoln La Moose.”

Whales Harness