Thanks Tommy, we needed that after a week from hell - Debbie Green on that photo finish
My Copy’s pencil line win at Auckland on Friday night could not have been timed better.
As if sensing the Lincoln Farms’ team could do with a pick-me-up, after a week when the future of its flagship pacer Copy That hung in limbo, the champ’s younger half-brother broke an 11-month drought for owner Debbie Green.
But the uncanny timing went even further than just the worries about Copy That’s knee injury - unbelieveably his promising full brother Sugar Ray Lincoln also got into the wars.
The $60,000 yearling, loved by everybody in the stable, double barrelled trainer Ray Green when coming off the training track, tipped him out of the cart and galloped headlong back to the stables.
“We were thinking if the worst came to the worst with Copy That at least we had his little brother then lo and behold he does that,” Debbie Green said.
On taking the corner by the stable Sugar Ray, dragging the sulky behind him, managed to get wedged between the barn and a storage container.
“Luckily he had only superficial injuries - he needed a few stitches in his shoulder - but it could have been a lot worse.”
Green himself escaped with scuffed arms and elbows and a few bruises but also put his neck out, resulting in a few headaches.
“That could have been a disaster as the horse seems better than Jip (Copy That) at the same stage, he’s certainly better gaited.”
Green said all of the progeny of Lively Nights had been the same. Copy That used to jump out of his paddock repeatedly as a young horse.
“They all have a bit of an attitude. The three-year-old (Lincoln’s Copy) is the same. He took off one day - I think he spooked at the cows - got caught in a fence and tipped Ray out.
“He’s quite hot and too big so when we had the bug in the barn Ray turned him out.”
My Copy, who by Highview Tommy looks nothing like Copy That, was also big and, because he always seemed to be growing, he hadn’t been punished on the track.
While he won three of his first 10 races, it took 23 races for ‘Tommy’ to score again.
“But Maurice (McKendry) knows him really well and doesn’t give him a hard trip. It was a fantastic drive by him on Friday.”
Second last in the running, McKendry was able to tack onto the back of the well backed Two Eye See when Logan Hollis made his move across the top.
And it was well into the home straight before he pulled off Two Eye See’s back and launched his challenge, the two horses going across the line locked together.
A TAB tote malfunction meant it was more than 20 minutes before Trackside viewers found out the result but Green said by that time the celebrations were well underway on-track.
“I thought he went fantastic,” said Green who’d noticed the horse had picked up in recent weeks.
“He’d run two seconds but before that, when he was seventh and eighth, none of the horses in the barn were feeling that great. Not much was showing up in their bloods but they were all a bit sick.
“When Tommy’s feeling good you know it. He’s 16.2 plus hands and when he rolls his head around he whips the lead rope out of my hand. Even in swab box afterwards he started bucking.”
Green, who received a congratulatory text soon afterwards from Highview Tommy’s co-owner Hazel van Opzeeland, reckons Tommy - not ‘Junior’ as the stableworkers love to tease - has a few more wins in him yet.
“He’s a lovely horse, the sort little owners love to have because he always brings home the groceries.
“Seconds are nice too - I was getting used to them - but he’s won more than $53,000 now.”
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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.”