Copy That into favouritism
By Michael Guerin
Ray Green is confident the next big thing of New Zealand pacing will be staying put here.
But he wouldn’t mind sneaking Copy That across to Australia this winter to show the Aussie how good he is.
The South Auckland pacer bounced back from his luckless defeat in the Northern Derby two weeks ago with a bullying win in the Flying Stakes at Addington on Friday night, refusing to be parked out by arch rival One Change at the bell and once he got to the lead he never looked like being beaten.
He cruised the last 800m in 56.3 in the hands of new driver Blair Orange to beat One Change again, as he has every time they have met since Cup week, with early leader Minstrel a strong third and Heroes Square losing few fans in fourth.
Bad To The Bone, who got pushed back in the inner, was an eyecatching fifth.
The win saw Copy That promoted to $2.50 favouritism for the NZ Derby back at Addington in two weeks but Green is already thinking further ahead and further afield.
“He was great tonight, he really is a very good horse with a big motor,” says the popular trainer.
“I know he was beaten up north but I think he did a good job to run second after losing momentum.” Green says safely through the Derby, Green will return north for the Jewels at Cambridge on May 30, by which time everybody is hoping the world feels a little more normal.
Then Green wants to take Copy That to Australia, travel restrictions allowing of course, for a two-race Queenland campaign that he hopes will include the new A$250,000 Rising Sun.
The new three and four-year-old race will be held at Albion Park on July 18 with two three-year-olds to be invited and get preferential draws.
Should one of them win they would get a $100,000 bonus and Green likes the sound of that.
“So ideally that is what we would like to do providing these restrictions are eventually lifted.”
Copy That is owned in Victoria by Merv and Meg Butterworth and while many of their horses eventually end up being trained there, Green hopes Copy That can stay here next season and beyond.
“It think for good horses, horses as good as him, there is just as good a money here and they can head to Australia to race when needed.
“Merv and Meg have been great and have never made any noise about him racing over there full time so I’d love to see him stay here.” While Copy That surprised nobody with his win Friday night’s two main trotting winners One Apollo (Four and Five-Year-Old Championship) and Vacation Hill (Trotting Oaks) did sting punters.
One Apollo has always looked an open class horse but few would have seen him beating the Inter Dominion champion in Winterfell, especially coming from behind him to do it.
Winterfell, who started off a 30m handicap, surged to the front down the back straight but wasn’t trotting perfectly squarely on the home bend and One Apollo wore him down the hands of Gerard O’Reilly.
It was the seventh career win for the son of One Over Da Moon and his fourth this season for trainer Brent White, although not his richest as they won the Sales Series Trot at Addington during his two-year-old career.
Vacation Hill gave driver Samantha Ottley her biggest trotting win in the Oaks as she came from behind hot favourite Tailored Elegance to beat her fair and square.
“I don’t think I have won a lot of big trotting races before,” said Ottley.
“So to even get a drive in any Oaks or Derby, for trotters of pacers, is a big deal.
“Kevin (Townley, trainer) has always had really big opinion of her and she had just kept getting better and better.” The night’s other feature, the Superstars, was over the second hot favourite Another Masterpiece strode to the front at the bell as he held off the big late charge of Triple Eight.