By Joshua Smith, Harness News Desk
Exciting pacer Copy That may not have had the chance to contest the New Zealand Pacing Derby this year, but he made sure he finished his three-year-old season in style at Alexandra Park on Wednesday night.
The Ray Green-trained colt was taken straight to the front by driver Maurice McKendry in the Shane ‘Interterestrial’ Primrose Mobile Pace (2200m) where they were able to dictate terms throughout and ran away to a comfortable four length victory over Smooth Deal, with a further head back to LL Cool J in third.
Green was pleased to see Copy That back to his best after he was pulled up last start as a result of hitting the foot rests and wheels of the sulky.
“He is a class act,” Green said. “He is a very good horse and he showed that tonight, that was easy for him.
“Last start wasn’t even a race. He had an issue of hitting the wheels and Maurice did the right thing and pulled him up.
“You just have to disregard that last start completely. Tonight you saw the real deal.”
The son of American Ideal posted an impressive tally in his three-year-old term, winning seven of his 12 starts, including the Gr.2 3YO Classic (2200m) and Gr.2 Flying Stakes (1980m), and placing in four others, including finishing runner-up in the Gr.1 Sires’ Stakes Final (1980m) and Gr.1 Northern Derby (2700m).
Green is excited about the prospects of Copy That heading into the new season and he is aiming him towards the Gr.1 New Zealand Cup (3200m) at Addington Raceway in November.
“We will just trundle around up here,” Green said. “There will be a few of Barry Purdon’s nice horses come through next week, so we should get another start next week.
“There’s the Spring Cup and those sort of races up here for him and I will put in a nomination for the New Zealand Cup.
“When we send him south will depend on how many starts we can get up here and what the competition is.
“Hopefully he will get a few races up here that will prepare him for some of those better races down in Christchurch.”
Fittingly Green recorded his 26th and final win of the season with Tommy Lincoln in the Lincoln Farms Mobile Pace (2200m) and stablemate Man Of Action finished off strong to secure the quinella.
“Tommy Lincoln was always going to be the one to beat from the way he has been trialling,” Green said. “He is probably a notch below those top ones, but he is still a nice horse.
“Man Of Action went well too. We are pretty happy with that result.”
Green is pleased with the way his stable has performed this season and he is looking forward to next season with several rising two-year-olds.
“I am happy with the way the season has gone, we have won a bit of money,” Green said.
“If COVID-19 hadn’t come along we would probably have won a lot more, we were favourite for the Derby, but that is horse racing as they say.
“We spent more than $1 million on yearling purchases, so hopefully we have got something good there for next season, I will be disappointed if we didn’t.
“They have broken in well and they all look good, but it is early days yet.”