Champion big race driver Anthony Butt hopes the new string to Copy That's bow can slingshot the Auckland pacer to victory in Australia's new glamour race.
The A$250,000 Rising Sun at Albion Park in Brisbane has arrived on the harness racing scene with a boom, attracting the likes of Krug, Copy That, Amazing Dream and Miracle Mile runner-up Expensive Ego for its first running.
"It is pretty exciting, when you think this race didn't exist until now," says Butt, the Kiwi now domiciled in Victoria who has won almost every major race in Australasia.
Butt is in position to judge the merits of the two key Kiwi contenders as he drove Krug to victory in the Redcliffe Derby two weeks ago and then Copy That to roar home from last in the Wondai's Mate on this track last Saturday.
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The vast majority of Copy That's wins have come when he was able to lead, common in age group stars as they so often dominate and secure the front, but his brilliant finish last Saturday has convinced Butt he can win even coming from the outside of the second line over 2138m tomorrow.
"It is not going to be easy and I'd love to have drawn better, but we can still win," says Butt.
"He showed last week how much speed he has driven with a sit and that is probably how we have to attack Saturday's race. Because of that our chances could come down to the early pressure and what sort of cart we can get into the race."
Krug is expected by many to lead from the ace but he could cop early pressure, especially from Victorian speedster Kowalski Analysis, and if they burn up too much early then a big, rugged stayer such as Expensive Ego looks certain to exploit that.
"If all of that happens then maybe Expensive Ego will be too good because he is a very smart horse, he was huge in both the Chariots Of Fire and Miracle Mile earlier in the year," says Butt. "So, I need some luck, some tempo and a horse to follow."
So strong is the Rising Sun that Amazing Dream is rated a $12 chance in Australia even though she won the Auckland Cup, beating Spankem and Copy That just six months ago.
She hasn't raced since her Jewels defeat five weeks ago and while drawing barrier three, she almost certainly lacks the gate speed to lead, so could be dictated to by any moves in the race.