Copy That just needs to copy that win
By Jonny Turner
Victorian owners Merv and Meg Butterworth will take winning form into the New Zealand Cup after enjoying success at Ascot Park on Sunday with Prince Envy.
The couple, who race the favourite for the country’s biggest race, will be hoping Copy That can produce something similar to the impressive seven and three-quarter length win their Brett Gray trained trotter dished out in race 3.
Though the Butterworths’ two horses look to have very little in common, they both appealed to the keen eye of their Australian owners.
The Butterworths purchased Prince Envy out of Canterbury as an unraced five-year-old, who had had plenty of workouts without taking the final step to make the races.
“Merv rang me up and said I have got a bit of a project horse, but don’t worry he has got ability,” Gray said.
While Butterworth was vindicated in his opinion of the horse with his huge victory, it has been a testing road to the winner’s circle for Gray.
Prince Envy galloped and out of his first two starts before his polished victory on Sunday.
“The horse has been doing my head in, to be honest.”
“Just because he has been getting it wrong at the start.”
“We know he has got the ability there, so it has been a bit frustrating.”
“Hopefully now he can go on with it a little bit.”
Gray produced the quinella in race 3 with Peregrine running second to Prince Envy.
After getting the winner’s manners in check, Gray will now have to work on Peregrine.
The three-year-old galloped at the 500m before staging an impressive recovery to take second.
The Butterworths’ good eye for a horse has also led to them having the favourite for the New Zealand Cup.
They purchased Copy That after towards the end of his two-year-old season and could get the ultimate reward for their judgment in Tuesday’s 3200m feature.
The four-year-old was previously raced by Deborah Green, the wife of Copy That’s trainer, Ray Green.
The pacer will be the veteran Pukekohe trainer’s first New Zealand Cup runner.
Gray will be among those cheering for Copy That when the tapes fly on Tuesday afternoon.
“I would love for Merv and Meg to win it.”
“They have been great for Southland [harness racing] and have been very good to me.”
“They always have three in work with me and they were two of the people that helped get me started.”
Gray tasted more success of his own later on yesterday’s Ascot Park card when Memphis Tennessee took out race 9.
The five-year-old dropped in class after running into Robyns Playboy and Pembrook Playboy in his last two starts and it showed when he cleared out to win by three lengths for driver John Morrison.