By Joshua Smith, Harness News Desk
Copy That is well and truly back in the Gr.1 New Zealand Cup (3200m) picture after his brave win in the Dunstan Horsefeeds Handicap Pace (2700m) at Cambridge Raceway on Friday night.
Last year’s Cup hero had a mountain to climb from his 70m back mark, but under a perfect drive by Zachary Butcher he peaked at the right time to run down his major rival Hot And Treacherous to win by a head.
It was the second win on-end for the classy five-year-old from a big handicap, having won last week from behind the 55m tape over 2200m at Alexandra Park.
“He did pretty well tonight,” trainer Ray Green said.
“It was only five metres extra (from last week) really off the main players. The other horse, Hot And Treacherous, made it a bit tougher because he stepped well.
“Last time he didn’t step, so that was him out of the picture, so it was a bit easier.
“It was a good, tough run and hopefully he pulls up well and we will be good to go for Christchurch.”
Copy That is once again amongst the favoured runners for the New Zealand Trotting Cup after earlier being on the outer following his disappointing Australian campaign.
The son of American Ideal has thrived since returning to his homeland, which Green has put down to the warmer weather.
“It is a lot warmer over here, it is quite cold over there. I think the warmer weather has brought him on a bit,” Green said.
Copy That will fly down to Christchurch next week, where he will be joined on the flight by stablemate Frankie Major, who finished sixth in the IRT Mobile Pace (2200m).
“Frankie Major is going for the Sires’ Stakes,” Green said. “They went pretty hard tonight and he just got back too far. He got home okay.”
Meanwhile, it was a great night at Cambridge for Copy That’s dam Lively Nights, whose progeny recorded a double after My Copy took out the Agrowquip Mobile Pace (2200m) for Green.
It was the Highview Tommy three-year-old’s second win from eight starts, and Green expects that he will continue to improve with time.
“That was quite good from My Copy tonight,” Green said.
“He is quite a nice horse too, but he just hasn’t been that strong. He is a big, lanky horse, but he is getting stronger all the time.”