The big "moments" that helped Katie Cox
by Rob Courtney
Katie Cox is forever grateful to Paul Corkran when the longtime owner-breeder-trainer decided to get out of the horses and sell his Leeston property. That was about six years ago.
Those decisions led to Cox acquiring, among others, Stay A Moment (Armbro Invasion – Nakura), Love A Moment (Love You - Stay A Moment) and recent Addington winner Spy Da Moment.
Stay A Moment was in foal to Majestic Son, Love A Moment was broken in as a 4yo but was untried and Spy Da Moment, who's now the winner of six, was quite a "handful" as a young horse and not really a candidate to pass on to inexperienced hands.
Also in the package was Chesterbelle (Love You – All Sunny) who had been injured in a paddock and was given as a broodmare only.
Cox has an impressive CV. She worked for a number of high profile Canterbury stables including Ken Barron, Colin DeFilippi and Jamie Gameson and also in an American show jumping stable before becoming a junior driver in 2012. She recently celebrated 100 driving wins, and had her first Group success with It's Tough in the Welcome Stakes. After winning with Ava Adore at Addington on Sunday Cox now has 103 driving wins and 32 training successes since starting out just over a decade ago.
She also has a good reputation for producing quality conditioned yearlings for sale (15 presented in 2023) and has succeeded in turning many untried acquisitions into racing propositions.
“I guess I kept going with them when others might have put them in the too hard basket,” she reflects.
The Majestic Son colt from Stay A Moment was sold through Gavelhouse but as yet, has not been sighted on the racetrack.
“He was a big horse and most likely going to take some time as is the next foal, a Volstead filly who has just come back into work.
"The Volsteads seem to be making quite an impression overseas so I was lucky enough to get that service - he hasn’t been available since."
The mare, at 21, has since been retired as a paddock mate.
Love A Moment showed real ability on occasions but being left for so long left her with a few ‘negative traits’ that didn’t help her as a racehorse. Put to stud, her first foal Lottie’s Moment (by Majestic Son) has already won a couple of 2yo trials this season and there has been recent Australian interest in her.
“She didn’t like the grit to start with but the patient approach seems to have worked with her and if she is not sold, might get her chances in the better 2yo trot races later in the season. She should qualify soon .”
Then leased out to Balcairn Stockfoods identity Kevin Gardner, Love A Moment has left fillies by Muscle Mass and What The Hill, both good strong types and is back in foal to Royal Aspirations for Cox.
The Muscle Mass filly named Birstall Babe has made an immediate impression on breaker Robert Anderson and in time will head to the Hope stable.
Gardner took a liking to the straight out trotter after enjoying good success with the 10 win/ $100k earner Harrysul when trained by the Hopes at Woodend Beach.
Chesterbelle’s first two foals have both qualified and foal number one Majestic Bells was a recent winner in Australia.
Cox has a yearling colt by Majestic Son from the mare who is also back in foal to Royal Aspirations.
Spy Da Moment, now rising 11, has 16 placings to go with those 6 wins and with earnings a tick over $80k.
“The mobiles suit and he doesn’t mind doing a bit of work but he is not the kind of horse you would sell on so we will just keep ticking over at this stage”
On the same night (July 13), close relation Crown The Moment (by Father Patrick) scored his maiden win for the Hopes as did another from the ‘Moment breed’ in Ultimate Moment 24hrs later at ‘The Park’ for the Teaz stable.
In recent years, trotters from this family have been highly productive and Paul Corkran needs to take much of the credit.
When one can reel off names like Take A Moment (39wins & $1.16M), Stig (23 wins & $855k), Oscar Bonevena (17 wins & $392k), Dr Hook (17 wins & $439k) and Quite A Moment (16 wins & $428k), there seems to be no doubt around the success of this studbook family.
This all started when Corkran bred the Crockett mare Nakaia who won him three races in a short career over three seasons.
Prior to this mare appearing, finding winners in this pedigree was like ‘looking for a needle in a haystack’.
Crockett left both pacers and trotters. Bronze Trail was a handy pacer and some might remember trotter Jamie Higgins but there weren’t many headline acts to be fair.
Corkran had the foresight to breed Nakaia to French blood (Jet d’Emeraude and Gekoj respectfully) in the mid 1980s (well before Haras des Trotteurs came along) and got Nakura (5 wins) and Naraya (3 wins) and as they say the rest is history!
Interestingly, legendary trotting trainer the late Bill Doyle, also based in Leeston, also did the same thing with his proven bloodlines (When, Now, Look) around the same time with a sire called Beau Nonantais.
Katie Cox, for one, is now benefitting from that generosity and vision, and is poised for more ‘moments’ in the years to come.