South Auckland trainer Ray Green continued his rich vein of form with a winning double, including a quinella, at Cambridge Raceway on Thursday night.
Three-year-old colts Copy That and Line Up secured their spots in next month’s Gr.1 McMillan Equine Feeds Sires’ Stakes Final (1980m) at Addington when they went one-two in the opening heat of the series at Cambridge, over 1700m.
“It was excellent,” Green said. “I was expecting them to go something like that, they are pretty nice colts, the pair of them.
“They both can’t win, one of them has got to get the job done, but I thought they both went well.”
The pair will likely head towards Alexandra Park later this month to target another Sires’ Stakes heat before heading south to Christchurch to take their place in the Final on November 12.
“That’s their target, they will be heading down there barring accident and illness,” Green said.
“Now that they are both qualified, it gives us the luxury of planning our assault at our leisure.
“There is another Sires’ Stakes heat in Auckland that they will both go in. Copy That is a rating 70 now, so he would be in with the open class horses otherwise.
“They both need another race and that will be a good opportunity to set them for Christchurch.”
Green didn’t have to wait long to add another win to his tally, with The Empress dominating the Russell Curtin Memorial Mobile Pace (2200m) with an all the way victory.
“I was expecting that as well, it was good to see a plan come together,” Green said. “Zac (Butcher, driver) drove her well, he put her straight on the frontend and once she got there I couldn’t imagine her getting beaten really.
“She has been racing really well at Auckland. In her previous start, where they went 2.38.8 (for 2200m) and she ran fourth, she got inconvenienced a bit.
“That made her look pretty good coming up against the horses on Thursday night, they were a big drop down in class from what she has been racing against.”
While there is a clear path in place for Copy That and Line Up this spring, The Empress’ plans are less certain, however, a return to Alexandra Park is imminent.
“There are no hard and fast plans with her,” Green said. “Once again, she is up in the ratings, so it’s going to be tough for her next time.” – Cambridge Raceway
RACE REPLAY: McMILLAN EQUINE FEEDS SIRES' STAKES SERIES (HEAT 1) MOB PACE, $18,150, 3YO COLTS & GELDINGS MOBILE, 1700m