It has been a week of sunshine and beaches for Catherine Cameron. The Cambridge trainer has been enjoying a holiday in Hawaii this week, but will return to New Zealand in time to watch Copper Mine and Light Shadow compete at the Northland beach township of Ruakaka on Saturday. “I’ve been in Hawaii for a week,” she said. “So I am going from one beach to another. We’ll get home, have enough time for a few hours’ sleep and then head to Ruakaka. “It won’t be quite as nice, but I hope the horses do well to make up for it.”
Last-start winner Light Shadow will kick off proceedings for Cameron when he lines-up in the ITM/GIB (1600m). Cameron was pleased with her gelding’s win over a mile at Ruakaka last month and is hoping for a repeat performance on Saturday. “It was a really nice one to pick up,” she said. “When he puts his best foot forward and has been in good form he’s as good as anything on the day. “He’s been really good, Donavan (Mansour, jockey) has been riding him. He doesn’t get ridden a lot anyway, he spends a lot of time in the pool. “The jockey is happy, so I’ll take his word for it because a lot of jockeys aren’t happy after riding him.”
Cameron will also line-up Copper Mine in the Northland Business Systems (1400m). The four-year-old son of All Too Hard has only been tested over 1200m on raceday, but Cameron is confident her charge will handle the step-up in distance. “It will be interesting to see how he goes over 1400m,” she said. “There should be plenty of speed on I hope and he should settle in nicely.”
Copper Mine has drawn the ace barrier and Cameron is happy with her gelding heading into Saturday after his last-start runner-up performance at the same venue last month. “I was really pleased with him (last start), it was a nice run, but he had every chance,” she said. “I am relying on what they are telling me at home. He worked really well on Wednesday. “I was pretty pleased to see that draw. He tends to race on the speed, so he should be thereabouts.”
Cameron could add to her winning tally this season on Saturday, which stands at 10, a personal best for the Cambridge conditioner who took out her trainer’s license in the 2015/16 season. “I’m really happy, it’s been nice to have a few horses go well and that makes it all worthwhile,” she said. Cameron usually has about 15 horses in work at any given time and said pre-training for Hong Kong makes up a significant part of her operation. “We have got a lot for Hong Kong that are just passing through, there will be half a dozen that will be gone by the end of the year,” she said.
While she enjoys that side of the business, Cameron is looking forward to lining up her race team next season and is excited about the prospects of a number of her runners. “We have got Cossack Warrior, he’s just started jogging again,” she said. “He’s had a month out. The way he was racing, he could be quite exciting for the staying races. “The other one that could be quite fun as well would be Babiche, she won her last two. “She looks like she will be a bit of fun and we’ll aim her for the Dunstan Final with the stayers with her. “She has done a month back on the treadmill now, so she will back in the stable in a couple of weeks.”