Copy That to open Aussie campaign this Saturday
By Adam Hamilton
It is a Kiwi-fest at Saturday night’s Cranbourne Cup meeting.
Headlining the meeting is the first run of this Aussie raid for recent NZ Cup winner Copy That in the $75,000 Group 3 Decron Cranbourne Pacing Cup (2555m).
On face value he looks well drawn in gate six, but another star (former) Kiwi in Amazing Dream is drawn even better in gate three with Anthony Butt aboard for Nathan Purdon.
Then you’ve got star Kiwi trotter Majestic Man, who is on the quick back-up from his second placing in the Inter Dominion final when he tackles the Cranbourne Trotters’ Cup.
But let’s delve into Copy That first.
Owner Merv Butterworth quickly dismissed any suggestion the superstar would improve off whatever he did this week with a view to races like the Ballarat and Hunter Cups.
“No, he’s going there to win the Cranbourne Cup. It’s a race I’ve sponsored for a long time and really, really want to win.
“Ray (Green, trainer) has got him wound-up. He trialled brilliantly at the Pukekohe workouts last Saturday morning, coming home in 26sec.
“He came off 30m and beat Bad To The Bone hard-held. Maurice (McKendry, driver) was very happy with him.”
Copy That will be flown across from NZ today and is due to arrive at Chris Svanosio’s stables around 7.30pm tonight (Wednesday). Green is due in the following morning.
In a huge show of faith and respect for Svanosio, Butterworth promised him the drive in the Cranbourne Cup a few weeks back.
“He’s drawn six, but he’s overcome harder draws to win,” Butterworth said. “It’ll be good to meet Amazing Dream again. If you look at her two wins over us in Queensland (during Winter), she had the perfect run both times. There’s nothing between us.”
Amazing Dream has gate three and looks a genuine chance of finding the front. It’s unlikely she would take a sit, even over the 2555m.
The other big gun in the Pacing Cup is brilliant but injury-plagued local General Dodge, but he’s facing a challenge from outside the front row (gate seven).
Although he has blazing gate speed, it’s become evident he’s a much better horse in quality races when allowed to settle early and be saved for his huge finishing burst.
The issue this week is the likelihood he will settle near last and be giving superstars like Copy That and Amazing Dream huge starts.
In the Group 3 Trotters’ Cup, Majestic Man packs loads more class and credentials than his rivals, but will have to overcome a back row draw (gate nine).
Against that, it’s only a nine-horse field and driver Anthony Butt gets the chance to push through early from two-out on the back and settle in front of few rivals.
His main dangers look to be the talented Aldebaran Tess (gate six), Havehorsewilltravel (seven) and rejuvenated Sundons Courage (eight).