Change of plan for Copy That
By Adam Hamilton
As NZ Cup winner Copy That prepares to head to Australia, his owner Merv Butterworth has confirmed he will not tackle the $1 million Miracle Mile.
Instead, the gun pacer will be flown back to Auckland after the Hunter Cup to prepare for the new slot race at Cambridge in April and Auckland Cup after that.
In another surprise twist, his Victorian caretaker trainer Chris Svanosio will drive him in at least the first of his Victorian races, the Cranbourne Cup on December 18.
"I've already got a couple of horses with Chris and Copy That will be staying with him," Butterworth said.
"I'm a big fan of Chris as a driver, I can't recall seeing him make a mistake in a big race from the opportunities he's had.
"I've confirmed with Chris he's got the drive at Cranbourne and our options are open beyond that."
Butterworth said Copy That would have four starts in Victoria, culminating with the Hunter Cup.
"After Cranbourne he'll go to the Bendigo Cup and Ballarat Cup before finishing-up with the Hunter Cup," he said.
"We can't do everything and this looks like the best plan for him.
"It fits best to skip the Miracle Mile and give him a bit of a break then, so we can send him back home to Ray (Green) for those two races up north."