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Copy That set for rematch with the King

Kiwi trainer Ray Green really backed himself when he packed the bags and brought stable stars Copy That and American Dealer to Queensland.

There were queries over where both were at. Copy That was coming off a career-worst flop in the Group 1 Harness Jewels at Cambridge and most felt American Dealer was a shadow of what he’d shown earlier in the season.

Four wins later, all of them in somewhat of feature races, including last Saturday night’s Group 1 Sunshine Sprint with Copy That and Green is rightly asking in a mix of self-satisfaction and pride in his horses.

“Relief is probably the first emotion and then you start to feel satisfied,” he said.

“I had to have the faith in the horses and the ability to turn them around away from home. It’s been a fantastic few weeks and Mark Dux and his family have been the most wonderful and helpful hosts.”

Green, 75, declared Copy That the best pacer he’s trained in a 50-plus year career after he dethroned Australia’s pacing superstar, King Of Swing, in the Sunshine Sprint.

Ironically, Green trained King Of Swing as a younger horse.

“I’ve had some really, really nice horses, but you’d have to say he’s the best. He was the standout of his three-year-old crop and he’s been able to step so quickly and successfully in top open-class racing,” he said.

Driver Anthony Butt added: “He’s got the world at his feet now. His manners are really good now and he’s become so versatile. I had to put a lot of faith in him to drive him the way I did the other night and he didn’t let me down.”

But the experienced Green and Butt refuse to say the word confident when it comes to next Saturday night’s rematch with King Of Swing in the biggest race of this stellar Queensland Constellations Carnival, the $250,000 Group 1 Blacks A Fake.

“You can’t be confident against a horse as good as King Of Swing. He was enormous in defeat (in the Sunshine Sprint). You can just go into hoping for a good draw, knowing we’ve never had Copy That any better and he’s versatile enough for Anthony (Butt) to drive how he needs to according to the race,” Green said.

That crucial barrier draw is live on Sky Racing 2 (Foxtel 527) at 2pm today (Monday).

King Of Swing, beaten for the first time in 10 sprint races for Team McCarthy, still looks the one to beat in his Blacks A Fake title defence after overcoming a tough run and checkered passage to get within a nose of beating Copy That in the Sunshine Sprint.

Green and Butt also combine with American Dealer, who looks the biggest danger to glamour Kiwi raider Krug in next Saturday night’s Group 1 Queensland Derby.

“He’s right back to his best. Krug’s a great horse. He’s faster than American Dealer, but maybe our guy is a bit stronger. I think we can beat him if things go our way,” Green said.

“Both my horses have come through their wins (last Saturday) night really well and should be at least as good, if not a touch better this week.”

Courtesy of News Corp