Ray chuffed over terrific New Year’s Eve trials by American Dealer and Copy That
Lincoln Farms trainer Ray Green came away from Alexandra Park tonight buoyed that he has outstanding chances for the two $200,000 features on New Year’s Eve.
- First American Dealer turned in a career best effort when screaming home to win the Alabar Classic, elevating him to co-favouritism for the $200,000 Harness Million
- Then Copy That ran a terrific trial for the $200,000 Auckland Cup, exploding from the tail of the field in the Franklin Cup and featuring in a head, neck and nose blanket finish for the minor money behind Spankem.
Green said he was “absolutely thrilled” with American Dealer who looked to have been set a tough task when three back on the outer and still giving leader B D Joe a three length head start turning for home.
“Down the back I thought he’d get home but not as good as that.”
American Dealer accelerated so fast when hooked out four wide it took only 100 metres for his supporters to see they were on a winner.
“He’s a great little horse and has smoked them,” Green said.
“He’s never gone a bad race and he’s getting better and better. He’s morphing into something special and looks to have the $200,000 race by the throat.
“He’ll be facing the same horses on December 31.”
Green described David Butcher’s drive on the little colt as beautiful.
Butcher pointed to the time as the reason for American Dealer’s big finish, his sizzling 2:38.2 for the mobile 2200 metres just nine tenths of a second slower than Copy That took in winning the race last year.
“Yes, he’s got options in being able to run from the front or behind, but the difference tonight is they ran hard.”
Butcher said he believed the run of the All Stars’ Shan Noble was on a par considering he sat parked for the last lap and went down by only half a length.
Driver Maurice McKendry was full of praise for Copy That’s effort to finish fifth in the Lincoln Farms Franklin Cup, just 1.4 lengths from Spankem, whom he followed in the running.
Still second last 150 metres from home, Copy That really unleashed in the last 50 metres to feature in a busy photo finish with The Fixer second, Ashley Locaz third and South Coast Arden fourth.
“It was an excellent run,” McKendry said. “They sprinted that quick on the home turn and he’s gone super to get so close.
“He’s a bit awkward this way round, he lugs in a bit, but he was really travelling.”
Copy That, four back on the outer, would undoubtedly have run the fastest last 800 metres and 400 metres for the 2700 metre stand, the leaders clocking 56.6 and 27. The trip took 3:21.3.
Green called the run a great Auckland Cup trial and, crucially, one which wouldn’t have hurt the horse.
“He’s got home really well which is what we wanted. It would have been nice if he’d got some more money but he showed us he can get over the top of them.”
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Our runners this week: How our trainers rate them
Friday night at Cambridge
Race 3: Lincoln Lou
“He’s a beautiful little horse and I’m looking forward to seeing him run. It’s hard to know how good he is, or how far he’ll go, but I guess we’ll find out on Friday. He’s the one to beat from the draw. If he doesn’t win, he won’t be far away.”
Race 5: Commander Lincoln
“I won’t be holding my breath. He tries hard enough but he lacks a bit of high speed.”
Race 8: Onyx Shard
“It’s two and a half months since she last raced, and she didn’t grow as much as I thought she would, but I’m expecting her to go a good race. Her last two trials have been good and she’s pulled up well.”
Race 8: Obadiah Dragon
“He’ll need a good trip from five but he’s not out of it. He went a good race last time at Cambridge and would be as equal a chance as Onxy Shard.”
Race 8: Beaudiene Rocknroll
“It’s heart-in-the-mouth stuff with him until they let them go but he should step away this time. Zac (Butcher) said the gate went particularly slowly before that race and that’s why he got impatient. I thought he did well to recover for third. If he made the front, where he goes best, he’d be hard to beat.”
Race 9: Frisco Bay
“He’s a tidy horse and I’m expecting a big run. We’ve sorted the problem he had with his breathing last season and he’s right in the zone now after a second and a win at the workouts.”
Mark Dux’s comments
Saturday night at Albion Park
Race 5: Argyle
11.02pm NZ time
“It wouldn’t have mattered where he drew this week, he’s in the money, barring bad luck. He’s going terrific and he gets in so well at the ratings.”