Green has passport at the ready after Alex Park triumph
By Joshua Smith, Harness News Desk
Ray Green has his bags packed and his passport ready as he gets set to accompany Copy That on his Australian campaign in the coming weeks.
Their trip was confirmed with Copy That’s eye-catching win in the IRT – Your Horse. Our Passion. Mobile Pace (1609m) at Alexandra Park on Friday night.
Backed into $1.10 favouritism, punters were sweating when the field turned for home, with Copy That still at the back of the pack.
But Green didn’t share their concerns, confident in his horse’s turn of foot, which he showed to run over the top of his rivals to record a half neck victory over Hot And Treacherous, with a further 1-1/2 lengths back to Darling Me in third.
“He has got speed and he can use it, whether he is in front or off the pace,” Green said.
“He has only had to race that way twice, that spring to mind, that being tonight and in Brisbane when he had his first start over there. He was in a hopeless position at the back of the field and ran over the top of them.
“I thought he was a big chance of rounding them up (when they were turning for home), and so he did.
“Halfway up I thought he had them, and he was closing fast.
“He is very good and has got a lot of speed. There are not many horses with his sort of speed, and he has got a big motor as well. He is the real deal.”
It was Copy That’s first run since his heroics in the Gr.1 New Zealand Trotting Cup (3200m) and Green said bypassing the Gr.1 New Zealand Pacing Free-For-All (1980m) on Show Day has been the making of their decision to head across the Tasman.
“Ken Barron jogged him after the cup for a few days and he had a couple of days off when he got home, and then he was back into it,” Green said.
“He hasn’t had a big break but what helped was not going in that free-for-all. If he had gone to that it would have changed everything.
“Two big races like that in four days just guts them. Not going in that one is a big plus for us.”
Green is looking forward to accompanying Copy That across the ditch and enjoy some freedoms that he has missed since being caught in Auckland’s near four-month lockdown.
“He leaves on the 15th of this month to Melbourne,” Green said. “His first race will be on the 18th in the Cranbourne Cup.
“There are a couple of nice Country Cups that he can go in leading up the Hunter Cup, that’s our main target.”
Meanwhile, Copy That’s half-brother My Copy nearly made it a family double at Alexandra Park when finishing runner-up in the Welcome Back On Track Mobile Pace (2200m).
It was the juvenile’s second start and Green said he still has a lot to learn.
“He is very green,” the Pukekohe trainer said.
“He still hasn’t sussed out what he is supposed to do yet. He is only going to get better.
“I thought he got home pretty well today, the other horse just rallied a bit when he got up beside him, and that was enough to get him beat.
“He still went well.”