By Adam Hamilton
Ray Green’s confidence varies going into a stellar Melton meeting on Saturday night.
Green’s three Aussie raiders are all in action, headed by Copy That in the $50,000 Group 2 Smoken Up Sprint (1720m). Simply Sam and Argyle are in heats of the Victoria Derby.
Let’s start with the Derby duo first.
“I think I might have bitten-off a bit more than a chew there,” Green laughed. “I must admit I didn’t think the three year-olds would be quite as strong as they are over here, the bar is set really high.
“While I like both my horses, especially Simply Sam who has shown me glimpses of being well above average, I think we’ll need plenty of luck to get a piece of the money in the Derby.”
NSW and Queensland Derby hero Leap To Fame and brilliant Victorian pair Catch A Wave and Captain Ravishing are the Victoria Derby big guns.
Argyle comes into gate two in the first Derby heat where Catch A Wave (gate 12), Interest Free (three) and Cantfindabettorman (nine) are the major players. Argyle is a $34 shot.
Simply Sam has also drawn quite well (gate four), but is a $17 shot because of the elite opposition. Captain Ravishing (gate 12) is the $1.50 favourite from Leap To Fame ($2.80).
It’s a brighter story with Copy That, who has a good but not great draw (gate four) in the Smoken Up, just before midnight tomorrow. It’s his final lead-up for next week’s Group 1 Victoria Cup.
The market has Copy That $3.80 second favourite behind Chariots Of Fire and Sunshine Sprint winner Better Eclipse ($3.30), who is first-up from a spell in gate two.
“Better Eclipse is the horse I’m most worried about from the draw, but he is first-up,” Green said.
“Copy That has trained on really well since that last win. He’s tightened right up over the past two weeks.
“I’ve always said he races best when he’s a bit light and he’s getting there. One more run and he should be right where I want him.”
Copy That burned early when down the track at his first Melton run this trip and Green is mindful of not spending too much early petrol this week.
“No, we don’t want to do too much early, but there are a few drawn under him with early speed,” he said.
“It would be great to win this week, but it’s another step towards the Victoria Cup and he really should keep getting better with each run back given the long time he had out.”