Court back in winning groove as a driver

NZ HARNESS NEWS

The sight of Paul Court in the sulky is a rarity these days but it’s probably going to become a lot more common following the week’s police raids and the subsequent arrest of ten people.

Court drove Mongolian Cavalry to score at Addington last night and it was his first driving success since Beach Skipper on the same track in June last year, although he has only driven in 20 races in the last four seasons.

Court has always been a more than competent reinsman, but since his days as a junior, when he won 60 races including 22 in his last season, he has opted to focus more on the training side of the game.

“Not many junior drivers carry it right through to the open ranks and you have to be realistic.

“I don’t think you can do both really well unless you’re Mark Purdon and there’s probably not much point trying to make a career out of driving unless you’re in the top echelon.

“Plus, I actually get more of a kick out of watching them race than being out there myself.”

It can however be advantageous in some cases to be doing the driving as well and Mongolian Cavalry is an example.

The three-year-old Mach Three colt caught the eye when storming home from the tail of the field for fourth when on debut at Addington a few weeks ago, but a week later he was off stride early and finished amongst the tailenders.

Court handled Mongolian Cavalry himself on those occasions.

“He’s rather light on his feet and early on he was getting things wrong so I’d been handling him thinking it was better to have someone who knew him rather than asking someone to jump on who didn’t.

“When he galloped at Addington it was like he tried to jump something on the track, so I added a shadow roll and he was good as gold last night.

“I think he’s got a bit of bottom to him actually and I can see him making for a pretty nice horse in about six months.”

Court bought Mongolian Cavalry for China’s Lang Lin at the Premier Sale for $30,000 after he’d been bought by Paul Bielby as a weanling at the Mixed Sale at Karaka for $15,000.

Court was drawn to him by the fact he was the first colt from the race-winning mare Rosie Brogden, a daughter of Western Terror, the sire of Terror To Love.

Court has 45 horses in work with the bulk of them being youngsters coming through, including at least 16 three-year-olds.

The unbeaten pair of Stick Man and Stun Gun are at the head of that pack at present and with the likes of Cable Beach, Hypervelocity, Mongolian Hero and Mongolian Storm having headed overseas, the stable star on the way back is Hail Christian.

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