Ray Green - home at last
After months away from home Ray Green is grateful he's back and he knows he's had it a lot better than many trying to get back into the country.
The 76-year-old returned to Lincoln Farms in Pukekohe this week, after heading to Australia in December with New Zealand Cup winner Copy That, only to find out he couldn't get home.
Having not booked a a place in quarantine before he left Green tried unsuccessfully to enter the MIQ lottery though he considers himself lucky in comparison to many.
"I had somewhere to stay and something to occupy myself."
That was with his mate and fellow trainer Anton Golino at Yabby Dam Farms just outside Ballarat. Green stayed there for a few weeks, doing a host of tasks including driving horses most mornings.
"It worked out well for both of us."
He also went with the race team to meetings in Victoria.
"Anton's got some good horses like Im Ready Jet and wherever she went I went too."
Among the very top echleon of Australian trotters, Im Ready Jet won two starts back at Shepparton, before a second to Majestuoso at Melton, with Temporale third.
As for Copy That he needs one more X-ray before they decide on when he will return home.
"It's pretty positive, he's sound and he's on the treadmill."
Copy That's Australian campaign was cut short after a paddock incident left him with a hairline fracture in one of his legs.
It was a far from ideal result for both trainer and horse.
"I enjoyed it over there but it's good to be back to business."
All he needs now is for his star horse to join him.