Ray: He’s becoming one of those serious horses that people will talk about for years to come
If you thought Copy That was impressive in running just a second outside the New Zealand record at Auckland on Thursday night, wait ’til you hear what his driver Maurice McKendry had to say.
“He was just jogging,” McKendry told Lincoln Farms’ trainer Ray Green. “And if I’d flicked him on the bum he’d had cleared out and put another four or five lengths on them.”
As it was, Copy That had a two and a half length margin on his rivals at the finish of the 2200 metres, run in a dazzling 2:36.4.
Compare that to Ultimate Sniper’s New Zealand record of 2:35.4, and the 2:36.1 clocked by Ultimate Machete and Dalton Bromac.
“Copy That ran it ridiculously easily while those others were on their knees doing it.”
Green said Copy That was setting the bar higher with every race.
“He’s making his own way now. He’s becoming one of those serious horses that people will talk about for years to come.
“I just hope we can keep him nice until the cup.”
Green says Copy That won’t race again until the $22,500 Spring Cup at Auckland on September 25.
Whether or not he’ll still be in the north for the $22,500 Holmes D G two weeks later remains to be decided.
Two runs earmarked in the south for the lead-up to the $540,000 New Zealand Cup are the $50,000 Ashburton Flying Sakes on Monday, October 26 and the traditional pre cup trial at Addington on November 4.
Green hopes that after the Auckland Cup in March Copy That will get his chance to show his wares in Australia, COVID-19 permitting.
The way Copy That coped with some serious attention in the lead on Thursday night suggests he will be well up to anything that Australia has to offer.
Forced to hum out of the gate to fend off an early challenge by Mach Shard, Copy That eventually relented down the back straight, the lead time of 39.4 one of the fastest commentator Aaron White could remember.
McKendry was off again 1250 metres out, retaking the front, before being attacked by Triple Eight from the bell.
Copy That was travelling so strongly turning for home McKendry allowed himself two looks over the shoulder, before pulling the plugs and sprinting clear, never moving in the run to the judge.
The expected challenge from Belle Of Montana, who was poised in the one-one turning for home, never eventuated and it was left to outsider Check In to flash up late for second.
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Friday night at Auckland
Race 3: Revitalise
“Maurice liked his run last week, he has a better draw this time (five) and I’d like to think there’s a lot of improvement in him. He should go well and hopefully he’ll get a cheque.”
Race 5: Captain Nemo
“It will be very tough for him from the outside of the arm. He didn’t pace the best last week, Andre (Poutama) had to hold on to him the whole way. But I’ll tweak his gear a bit - his hopples might have been a tad long - and hopefully he’ll get round OK.”
Race 5: American Dealer
“It’s difficult to make a plan from four on the second row - you’re relying on pure, unadulterated luck - and that’s not ideal. I can’t imagine anything beating Krug from the one draw - he’ll lead out and I doubt he’ll hand up - but hopefully we can pick up some of the minor money.”
Race 6: Tommy Lincoln
“He’s not really a 2700 metre horse so 2200 this week will suit him a lot better. Seven is not the ideal draw on the mobile but if David (Butcher) gets a good trip I’d say he’ll be the one to beat.”
Race 7: Copy That
“He’s absolutely donkey licked everything so far and they’re all the same horses again except for Mark Purdon’s Another Masterpiece. Now that he’s on the front I can’t see why he wouldn’t flog them again.”
Race 9: Apieceoflou
“He was used a bit early last week, and parked for a while, and hung on well for third. I’d like to see him lead and then I think he’d be a serious chance. This is the best draw he’s had.”
Race 9: Bondi Shake
“He’s been training not bad but he’s out wide again and will need some luck.”