Cox’s hot run continues at Ashburton
By Garrick Knight
Jonny Cox continued his red-hot form in the cart with another driving double at Ashburton on Christmas Eve.
The wins of Aladdin Sane and One Direction took him to 17 wins since the Wyndham meeting on November 17, a tick over five weeks ago.
“It started just after cup week and has been a really good run for me,” he said.
“I don’t know why or how; I can’t really explain it.
“But I’m definitely enjoying it.
“You sort of look forward to the emails from HRNZ that show a bit of extra money going in the bank.
“It helps pay off the property.”
It’s about to hit a speed bump after Cox was suspended for excessive whip use late in the day at Ashburton and he’s hoping it doesn’t halt his charmed run.
The trotter, Aladdin Sane, was first-up for 366 days and is trained by arguably Cox’s biggest supporter in Coaster Howe.
“Ever since I moved to Christchurch, he and his owners have been great to me and I love winning races for them.
“To be fair I thought Nandolo was our best chance of the day, in the Cup, but it wasn’t to be.
“Aladdin Sane is a really nice type of horse that probably would have raced in the Derbies last season if he didn’t get hurt.”
One Direction may be eight years old, but he still has that rare speed typical of his father, Christian Cullen’s, stock.
He picked up his seventh career win for dual-code trainer Lyn Prendergast.
“Third up today, siting back mid field and with a nice drag in to it, that’s his go.
“He has a potent sprint on him.
“He struggles when he gets up to the 60 ratings but he is very competitive in the mid-50s.
“I know Lyn loves him, as do his many owners, and it’s great to win for such a nice bunch of people.”
“We’re doing 12 or so and that gives me the freedom to do a lot of driving which I might not otherwise have if we had 20 or 30 in work.”
Fiancé Kimberly Butt has gone to work mornings for Brad Mowbray before helping out in the afternoon, too.
There’s no wedding date set for the couple, who have an unenviable task on their hands.
“Kim had a bit of time on her hands when she was in Auckland for the Inter Dominions so sat down and started working on a guest list.
“She got to 100 and that was just family, so we’ve definitely got a bit of work to do there.”
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Heisenberg broke his run of minor placings with a narrow victory in the day’s feature, the $20,000 Ashburton Cup.
He had to defy a late challenge from both his inside and outside by stablemates Cast No Shadow and Mongolian Cavalry, who charged late after cosy trips on the markers.
Second favourite Nandolo battled in to fourth after a soft lead over the two miles while race favourite Matt Damon faded after sitting parked for the last lap.