Impressive maiden winner Copper Mine took the first step on his journey to a future career in Hong Kong when he blitzed his rivals with a powerful front-running performance over 1200m at Ruakaka on the weekend.
Purchased by Hong Kong interests from the Ohukia Lodge draft for $200,000 during the 2016 Ready To Run Sale at Karaka, Copper Mine made his debut from the Stephen Marsh stable in March where he finished last before transferring to current mentor, Catherine Cameron.
A comfortable trial win at Taupo earlier in the month showed he was back on track and that transpired on Saturday with a dominant display.
“He’s a nice horse and after his trial win we thought he would go a nice race, so it was good he could deliver,” said Cameron.
“It would have been a pretty long and quiet trip home if he hadn’t performed like he did.”
Cameron admitted she was surprised when the horse arrived at her stable after originally starting off with the Marsh team.
“I do a fair bit of work with young horses for Willie Leung of Magus Equine, who manages the horse, but it was a bit of a shock when he arrived at our place,” she said.
“I didn’t know anything about the horse but right from the start he showed plenty of promise. I think he must have felt the track pretty badly at his first run and he has also been gelded since then which has settled him down.
“He has tremendous speed from the barrier which he showed in his trial when he jumped a length clear of them, so we thought he would be suited to Ruakaka where those in front tend to have a good record.
“Troy (Harris) had been involved with him at Stephens and he was keen to take the ride. He handled him beautifully and the horse was too good in the end.”
Cameron will now work out a plan with Leung to gain a second victory with the All Too Hard gelding, to meet the Hong Kong qualifying criteria.
“The permit is available for him up in Hong Kong so all he needs now is to fully qualify,” she said.
“That will most likely be with another win in Saturday grade so that’s where we will be looking.
“There is a suitable race in a fortnight at Ruakaka, but I would like to wait a little while longer as he seems to go best on the fresh side.
“I don’t believe there is any hurry so it might be we go back up there later on. He definitely needs a better track so I don’t see anything around his local area while the tracks are so wet.” – NZ Racing Desk
Copper Mine leads his rivals a merry chase at Ruakaka