New Zealand Trotting Cup: Copy That topples favourite Self Assured at Addington – Stuff.co.nz

Posted: November 9, 2021 at 1:53 pm

North Island raider Copy That and its 73-year-old trainer Ray Green toppled the favourite Self Assured to win the $600,000 New Zealand Trotting Cup in Christchurch on Tuesday.

Driven by Blair Orange, the Auckland-trained Copy That led most of the way in the 3200m race and sprinted clear up the straight at a largely empty Addington Raceway.

The second-favourite, Copy That paid $4.40 on the tote in a two-and-a-half-length win over $2.20 favourite Self Assured, trained and driven by champion horseman Mark Purdon. South Coast Arden was third.

Kai Schwoerer/Getty Images

Driver Blair Orange shoots clear with Copy That to win the NZ Trotting Cup at Addington.

An emotional Green remained at home at his Lincoln Farm base in Pukekohe amid Aucklands Covid alert level 3 and roared his prized pacer home with his staff.

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I couldnt fault that. It worked out how Id hoped it would, but I didnt expect it. It was a brilliant win, he won easily, and so he should have with the trip he got, Green told Trackside TV.

He was doing whatever he had to do, nobody challenged him early. I was expecting some company but it never arrived...

Purdon was chasing back-to-back cup wins with Self Assured which won in 2020 after Copy That was involved a tangle at the standing start.

This time Copy That shot out as the tapes flew and Orange had the four-year-old sired by American Ideal in front before the winning post the first time.

Orange stepped up the pace at the bell as Self Assured roared forward three-wide, and remained in control down the straight as it never looked like being headed.

It was Oranges second cup win as a driver, after Cruz Bromac in 2019.

Trevor Casey holds up the NZ Cup on behalf of owners Mel and Meg Butterworth, with Copy That and winning driver Blair Orange.

These are races we all target and love to win, its just such a shame the owners and Ray and his team cant be here. Im sure theyre enjoying it somewhere, Orange said.

Purdon was chasing a seventh win in the cup as a driver, which would have equalled Ricky Mays record.

Remarkably, Purdon had already driven six winners on the undercard on Tuesday, five of them trained in partnership with Hayden Cullen.

That included two group one support races: Oscar Bonavena in the New Zealand Trotting Free-For-All and Franco Indie in the Sires Stakes Final for three-year-olds.

The latter was a red-hot favourite at $1.40 and held off a late finish from Purdon-Cullen stablemate Franco Mac, driven by Purdons partner Natalie Rasmussen.

Cup day opened just after midday amid eerie scenes, with no members of the public allowed on course at Addington for the first time in the races 117-year history.

Covid-19 alert level 2 restrictions saw the club make the difficult decision last month to close the race day to all except owners, members, corporate partners and workers.

It meant instead of the usual crowd of 20,000 crammed into every vantage point, the main lawn in the home straight was deserted as the horses thundered to the finish with punters watching on television.

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New Zealand Trotting Cup: Copy That topples favourite Self Assured at Addington - Stuff.co.nz

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