By Joshua Smith, Harness News Desk
Trainer Ray Green felt a sense of relief as he watched his pride and joy Copy That take out the Gr.2 McMillian Equine Feeds Flying Mile (1609m) at Cambridge Raceway on Friday night.
The exciting pacer has been luckless in his last few starts, but he was finally dealt a good hand in Friday’s feature and he didn’t disappoint.
Driver Maurice McKendry launched the son of American Ideal off the gate from his handy draw of three to take an early lead.
McKendry kept a solid tempo throughout and Copy That was able to open up turning for home and hold off the late challenge of Self Assured to win by 1-1/2 lengths, in a time of 1:53.2.
Green said he was relieved to get the win after a series of placings.
“We have had no luck in his last few races. He has gone well in each of them but has had no luck,” he said.
“Tonight he showed he is right up there with them.”
Green took plenty of confidence into the race, with his main rivals Spankem and Self Assured drawing wide.
“On paper I couldn’t see how they could beat him. As it turned out that is the way it was,” he said.
“The draw was good and all the stars were aligned.”
Green was philosophical about Copt That’s previous runs and he is now looking forward to further campaigns with his star pacer.
“It is always frustrating, but that is horse racing. You can’t have everything going your way all of the time,” he said.
“It was a relief to see him not encounter any hurdles and show what he can do.”
Copy That will now head for a brief spell before Green decides what his next targets will be.
“He won’t be heading over to Australia, COVID-19 has put a stop to that,” Green said. “He can do all of those races next year anyway, so he doesn’t have to go over.
“He will go for a short spell and we will go from there.”
Earlier on the card Majestic Man signed off his New Zealand campaign in style before he heads across the Tasman for some Group One targets.
The Phil Williamson-trained gelding was backed into $1.20 favouritism for the Gr.3 Les Harrison Transport Cambridge Flying Stakes (1700m), and duly delivered for punters, winning by three-quarters of a length over Temporale.
He will now fly to Victoria on January 20 in preparation for the Dullard Cup later this month.