Copy That bounces back with big win
by Adam Hamilton
Reigning NZ Cup winner Copy That still has significant improvement to come ahead of the Group 1 Victoria Cup.
That’s the word from trainer Ray Green despite his stable star blowing away a hot field at Melton on Saturday night.
Green’s mastery was on full display when his decision to change plans and quickly back-up Copy That after a tiring run the previous week resulted in a stellar winning performance.
“It was a good result and a big relief,” Green said.
“He had a fabulous trip and it all fell into place, but it’s a great confidence booster for us all heading towards the Victoria Cup.
“He’s still not quite there yet, though. He pulled-up a little bit big. He’s always raced best when he’s been a bit on the light side, so this run and one more should have him pretty much spot on for the Victoria Cup (October 8).”
That next run will no longer be next Friday night’s Group 2 Kilmore Cup.
“No, he won’t back-up again this week,” Green said. “I changed to give him these two runs in a row, so we’ll wait two weeks now and go to the Smoken Up Sprint.
“It suits better anyway. It wouldn’t be ideal stretching out to 2600m this week when the Victoria Cup is over 2240m.
“He can have this week off and go to the sprint (Smoken Up) so we can keep him fresh and sharp.”
Green’s joy was paralleled by the disappointment around one-time pin-up pacer Lochinvar Art.
He galloped at the start, moved around to sit parked, hit the lead at the 400m but tired late to finish well.
Sadly, he was found to have suffered a “grade four exercise-induced pulmonary haemorrhage and stood down for 28 days by stewards.
That ends his Victoria Cup campaign and will see returning trainer-driver David Moran switch focus to the Inter Dominion, which starts on November 26.
The other disappointment was buzz pacer Bondi Lockdown, who did burn to find the front in a slick lead time, but was under pressure at the 500m and wilted to finish 16m from the winner in fifth spot.
“It’s such a shame with Lochinvar Art because he is the best pacer in this part of the world when he’s right,” Green said.
“As far as Bondi Lockdown goes, it’s hard to burn the candle at both ends. We found that out ourselves last week. I wouldn’t be judging him too harshly.”
Back to Green’s Victorian team and he was pleased to see Simply Sam return to winning form at Shepparton last Friday night.
“All three horses have won over here now, so we’re right on track,” he said.
Green said the long return trip to Shepparton – “It took seven hours” – reinforced his plans to bypass the Inter Dominion with Copy That.
“I just think it’s counter-productive,” he said. “Almost a recipe disaster when you consider it comes at the start of such a long season with so many big races after it.”