Wayne Keoghan doesn’t follow the horses. He’d never heard of Copy That before today.
But on Friday night, there won’t be one person in the country more focussed on his run in the $1million The Race By Grins at Cambridge.
That’s because Keoghan stands to win $50,000 if Copy That takes out the big slot race after drawing the ruling favourite in Cambridge Raceway’s sweepstake.
That Keoghan, 57, even bought a ticket was remarkable considering he and his wife Fiona hadn’t been to the races for more than four years when they went with some family and friends last Thursday.
“It was a sheer fluke. We hadn’t been to the trots for I don’t know how long, it was well before Covid. But it was Easter weekend and we were going away in motorhome with a friend so we thought why not park up there on Thursday night and go on to Rotorua the next day.
“I was up at the bar and the girl asked would I like a ticket in a sweepstake. I heard her say if we got drawn, we’d win a minimum of $2000, and to be honest I didn’t even listen to the rest of what she was saying.”
Keoghan says they wouldn’t normally spend $100 on a lottery ticket but when he put it to his wife, “she hummed and haaa-ed for a while, then we decided we’d take a punt.
“We’re not big gambling people. We only bet a couple of dollars here and there and we actually lost all night last week, two placings were our best results. But we had a great night.”
Keoghan, who lives out the back of Karapiro, had no idea his number 232 came up in last evening’s draw until phoned by a friend of his wife who saw his name listed on Facebook.
And even when he discoverd he’d drawn a horse named Copy That he was still oblivious to the horse’s huge ability until he rang his brother whose partner reported: “Oh, that’s a good horse.”
Now Keoghan, who works for a company that imports motor home equipment, and his wife who runs the laundry at St Peters School, are counting down the days until The Grins.
And he’s even doing some swotting up on the opposition.
“I watched a video on Facebook and saw the horse drawn inside Copy That, Old Town Road, is driven by a Z. Butcher. We used to follow David and Philip Butcher way back when we went to the races.”
Keoghan reckons all the stars could be aligning for Friday night too.
“I see Nicholas Cage is in the race. My alias is NickCage. Someone reckoned I looked like him a few years ago and it stuck and now I use it as my email address.”
Horses also featured on his recent Rotorua break.
“We went horse riding on a farm in Rotorua for the first time in 25 plus years. It’s all lining up.”
Keoghan welcomes news that Copy That has finished first, second or third in 75% of his 62 starts for Lincoln Farms’ trainer Ray Green and owners Merv and Meg Butterworth, which would equate to a sweepstake collect of either $50,000, $20,000 or $12,000.
“But winning $2000 is fantastic too and anything above that would be a bonus.”
Keoghan still recalls the atmosphere at Cambridge the night Christian Cullen scored there in 1999 but you just sense Friday night’s excitement index could top even that. - BARRY LICHTER
Sweepstake winner keen on Copy That
April 12, 2023