Ray stoked with Copy That who’s unlikely to race again before the New Zealand Cup
Copy That almost certainly won’t race again until the New Zealand Trotting Cup, trainer Ray Green confident the horse is now fit and ready to defend his crown.
Green loved the way Copy That hit the line in last Saturday night’s A$300,000 Victoria Cup, just failing to catch third-placed Better Eclipse and clearly in front 50 metres after the post.
“What I liked most was he was still trucking at the line. The way he raced and pulled up tells me he’s in pretty good shape now. And he didn’t bleed again.”
Copy That’s home stretch sprint from three back on the pegs saw him clock a faster last quarter than the first three home, Rock N Roll Doo, Honolua Bay and Better Eclipse and his 26.56 was shaded only by sixth placed Triple Eight (26.44).
Copy That’s overall clocking of 2:39.03 for the 2240 metres was also full of merit, representing a mile rate of 1:54.25.
The effort saw Copy That bank A$15,000 to take his earnings from the four-race campaign to A$32,180.
Copy That will arrive home in Auckland at 7am on Thursday, having paid for his expenses but, more importantly, having had enough hard racing to ready him for the cup.
“It’s mission accomplished really. I couldn’t have got the mileage into him in New Zealand - he’d been off for such a long time and you can’t get them back to that top level to be competitive in two races.
“So it made sense to come here and race for some serious money.”
Green says Copy That won’t contest either of the next cup lead-ups, the Ashburton Flying Stakes on October 24 or Kaikoura Cup on October 31.
“There’s a plane south on November 1, a week before the cup, and we’re booked on that.”
Copy That would also not contest the traditional cup trial the following day.
“We’ll follow the same path as last year and possibly trial at home on the Saturday before the flight.”
Copy That was forced to trial last year when his race at Auckland did not get off the ground and he set tongues wagging with a 15 length win in a staggering 3:03.5 for the 2500 metres.
The only Auckland meeting between now and Copy That’s flight is on October 20 and, while Green says Copy That might front up if there was enough opposition, he says he’s not holding his breath.
Green said he was comfortable about Copy That having a month in between runs now that he’s fully race fit.
Simply Sam for the big cut
Travel mate Simply Sam, who weakened to eighth in Saturday night’s A$200,000 Victoria Derby, has only one engagement on his return, an immediate appointment with the vet.
“He’ll be gelded as soon as he gets off the plane.
The trip has got his hormones up and he’s turned into a real handful. He wants to fight everything and is striking and being a complete twit.
“He had his chance in the derby and wasn’t strong enough but he did take it out of himself before the race, both transporting to the races and at the track when he wouldn’t relax.
“We had to stop halfway to the races on the side of the motorway to give him a reminder as he was screaming, kicking and striking in the float.”
Green said his night at Melton was mostly about making sure Simply Sam didn’t get hurt.
“I couldn’t leave him and Copy That by themselves as they hate each other.
“I had to watch Argyle’s race on the TV and as soon as I walked away he got his leg over the cross tie and it took five of us to get him out of trouble. Then every two or three minutes after that he’d start up again.”
Green says he’s sure the trip away will stand to Simply Sam in the future, especially with his new found gate speed.
Driver Nathan Jack got the horse out so well in the derby he led them into the first bend before settling into the trail behind Leap To Fame.
Simply Sam’s five runs in Victoria earned his connections A$14,350, just a few dollars short of his three-year-old stablemate Argyle (A$15,280).
Argyle won’t be on the flight home, destined for Queensland and the stable of Mark Dux, but his effort last Saturday night gave Green plenty of hope for his future there.
Argyle, courtesy of his good gate speed, trailed all the way and found a 26.71 final quarter to finish 3.7 metres second to former Kiwi Pull The Other Leg.
“He was never going to beat the winner but he shook the others off.
”His form line is a lot better than some of the others we’ve sent to Brisbane and I think he’ll do a good job up there.”
Green’s trio earned a total of A$61,810 on the trip.
More news in Harness
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Unlucky Argyle deserves to be rewarded at Albion Park tonight - just no bad luck please
Ray looking forward to Lincoln Lou and fully oxygenated Frisco Bay at Cambridge on Friday
Why Lincoln Farms had to buy lot 68 - his older brother Lincoln Lou is ready to rock
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.”