No fears for Copy That
By Michael Guerin
If you are worried about Copy That’s standing start record on his way to the New Zealand Cup, don’t be.
Because trainer Ray Green is adamant Thursday night’s stunning Alexandra Park winner will erase those fears next start.
Copy That left no doubt he has the motor for open class by destroying most of the north’s pacing elite over 1700m on Thursday, blasting to the lead and tearing off a 53.8 last 800m and a 26.2 final 400m to win by five lengths.
He went into the race with one race start of fitness under his belt as an advantage over his rivals but it would have mattered, it was his arrival on the big stage with his 1:52 mile rate one of the fastest seen in the north.
The demolition job saw him shorten into $7.50 third favourite for the New Zealand Cup behind Self Assured at $2 and the yet to return Spankem.
But while Green says the Cup at Addington is the aim, a casual punter might be wary of Copy That’s standing start record: two attempts for a pulled up and a third.
They shouldn’t be as the third came in a first race for two months back in February and stepped away slowly bu safely while the pulled up three starts ago wasn’t because of an early gallop but the four-year-old entire hitting the foot rests on the sulky with his hind legs, forcing new driver Maurice McKendry to retire him from the race.
Those standing start manners will get a full public appraisal next start in the standing start Spring Cup over 2200m at Alexandra Park on August 20.
“I don’t think it will be a problem at all,” says Green.
“He is that good a pacer he will handle it and he should get a few more before we head south.”
Green says he would prefer to stay north with Copy That until at least weeks before the Cup so he can prepare him from home and with 10 starters last Thursday night two or three more NZ Cup lead-up races in the north look certain.
“It is very satisfying having a horse like him,” says Green.
“And there might be some good ones around but I wouldn’t swap him.”
While they were all chasing a dream as soon as Copy That lead on Thursday there was still enough to like about the runs of horses like Belle of Montana, Triple Eight and Mach Shard.
But while the second Tuesday in November is a long way away, Copy That deserves his place at the most favoured northerner at the moment and a horse who could excel in Australia after Christmas in races like the Bonanza, Chariots Of Fire and even Miracle Mile.