Copy That looking at NZ Cup, then what?
By Michael Guerin
While the first real target of Copy That’s return campaign comes more sharply into focus trainer Ray Green admits what happens after the IRT New Zealand Cup remains a mystery because of the renewed Covid outbreaks in Australia.
Both Green and his stable star are back in South Auckland after their enormously successful Queensland campaign during which Copy That won the Sunshine Sprint and Wondai’s Mate as well as finishing second in the Rising Sun.
Copy That was the only horse of the four Green took to Queensland to return, with Tommy Lincoln and Captain Nemo still there, both having won in the last week, while Queensland Derby winner American Dealer is spelling in New South Wales and likely to join Nathan Purdon for a Victoria Derby and Breeders Crown campaign.
But Copy That has been back over a week, having spelled in Australia and will return to jogging next Monday, meaning he has three weeks off after his busy and productive season.
“He will start back next week and I am hoping the Spring Cup gets off the ground at Alexandra Park next month because he will be ready to go by then (late September),” says Green.
“Then we may have to look South depending whether the second northern open class race gets off the ground in October too.
“I still haven’t had that exact conversation with Merv and Meg (Butterworth, owners) but I am sure Cup week is where he will be going for his first big goal.” But while Cup week looms as the main early season goal what happens after that is not as easy to work out.
Merv Butterworth had suggested to Green that races like the Fremantle and West Australian Cups in Perth would be key targets but they, like all Aussie races, are up in the air while many states are under some form of lockdown.
“I suppose those decisions don’t have to be made now but it is very hard to plan anything at the moment,” says Green.
“So we will concentrate on what is closer to home and worry about Australia later. “After everything that has happened in the last month we realise we were lucky to get that Queensland carnival out of the way and get home before things went bad there again.” Copy That is the $3.70 favourite for the Cup at Addington on November 8, just ahead of Self Assured on $3.90 with South Coast Arden the $5.50 third favourite.