Cox takes on proven open class pacers in Northern Southland Cup
by Jonny Turner
Jonny Cox has faith in Lumen Caeli ahead of the pacer's toughest career test in the Group 3 Macca Lodge Northern Southland Cup on Thursday.
Cox heads south to his home province to combine with the promising Mark and Nathan Purdon trained four-year-old.
Lumen Caeli has impressed in his short career, but he is yet to face hardy open class types like Macandrew Aviator and Pembrook Playboy.
But Cox thinks the horse is up for the challenge.
“I don’t think he will disgrace himself, he is obviously from a pretty sharp stable and he has taken a couple of runs to come back to it.”
“I think with good manners he should be thereabouts and hopefully fighting out the finish.”
Lumen Caeli starts from the front line in the Northern Southland Cup.
The horse will be having his second standing start after beginning well in his last start second at Motukarara.
“He is a pretty sensible horse, he wasn’t overly fast away but he was safe which is the main thing.”
“If he can do that again tomorrow, he should be able to get a spot pretty handy.”
“I am picking the pace will be on which will definitely suit him.”
“He is a pretty good wee staying type of a fella.”
Cox brings Folklore south for the Southern Belle Speed Series heat on Northern Southland Cup Day.
The mare should get contrasting conditions to her last start on a wet grass track in the Cromwell Cup.
A smaller field looks a big plus for the mare who is known to get back and run on.
“She didn’t cop that track one little bit at Cromwell.”
“Back to mares company should be ideal.”
“There are two or there that like to lead, which will definitely suit us if they go hard up front and we can sit back and have one crack at them.”
Cox also combines with the Robert Wilson trained One Two Menny in the Group Three Southern Lights Trot.
One of the two big questions around the trotter’s chances looks to be whether he can handle moving to the tighter Ascot Park track after a nice win at Winton.
One Two Menny also steps up in distance from 2400m to 2700m which could be a test for the keen-going type.
The key question punters must ask is whether Love N The Port can travel the length of the country to beat Oscar Bonavena.
Love N The Port ran a nice second behind Majestic Man at Cambridge last week before returning to Phil Williamson’s Oamaru stable.
Love N The Port and Oscar Bonavena dominate the market for the Southern Lights Trot.
Oscar Bonavena goes into the race fresh following a last start win at Addington last month.