Copy That wins Sunshine Sprint - but only just
Champion driver Anthony Butt thinks this Queensland raid has been the making of Copy That.
Don’t think for a moment he’s playing down what Copy That has already achieved back home, but going to a different country and a very different style of racing seems to have really clicked with Ray Green’s stable star.
“He’s got the world at his feet now. I’ve been so impressed with him over here, it’s like he’s getting better with every run,” Butt said.
“His manners are really good now and he’s the complete package.”
Bar for a head margin, Copy That would be three-from-three in Queensland.
And it took a freakish Mark Purdon drive on a champion mare in Amazing Dream who had a world perfect run to inflict Copy That’s only Albion Park defeat – only by a head - in last week’s Group 1 Rising Sun.
Copy That deserved last night’s Group 1 Sunshine Sprint win, but he certainly had to earn it.
Hellbent on utilising a better draw than main danger and Aussie champ King Of Swing, Butt made an early move to sit parked where he could somewhat control the race.
“I had to put my faith in the horse. He’d given me so much confidence going into it and he didn’t let me down,” Butt said.
“I thought I was holding them quite clearly, but those outside horses really came strongly late. I wasn’t sure if I held on or not.”
Copy That won a whisker over King Of Swing, who was almighty in defeat, while $61 outsider Rockin Marty ran the race of his life for a very close-up third.
King Of Swing’s effort to come from outside the back row, around the whole field and just keep on coming was enormous. He didn’t win, but it certainly silenced those who queried whether he was any more than just a great leader.
They do it all again next week in the $250,000 Group Blacks A Fake. You can also add Expensive Ego, Amazing Dream and Spirit Of St Louis to the mix.
It has all the makings of an epic.
“It should be a great race again next week. King Of Swing was massive from his draw tonight and there’s plenty of depth to the field,” Butt said.
No wonder Green and owner Merv Butterworth locked-in Butt to drive Copy That a few months back. They’ve been a lethal combination.
Butt’s also teamed with Green for the resurrection of American Dealer, who looks Krug’s main danger in next week’s Group 1 Queensland Derby.