Day At The Track

Jonny Cox makes the most of catch drive

07:45 PM 13 Apr 2015 NZST
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Jonny Cox
Jonny Cox
The inaugural running of  Southern Harness Racing's “ Diamonds Day” is based around the finals of the Southland Oaks, the Southern Supremacy final and the Southern Country Cups final all being held on the same day at Ascot Park in Invercargill..
The first of these to be run today was the Southland Oaks which looked a two horse race on paper but as we all know races are never run on paper.
Rocker Band had been in great form all season and even from the second line was sent out a warm favourite in front of the Cran Dalgety trained Donegal Kahlum who drew badly on the outside of the second line.
The well performed Smokin Bird and Jonny Cox lead early and held the lead for the first 700 metres before handing up to Dexter and Donegal Kahlum who had looped the field from last.
Rocker Band and Ricky May were seemingly cruising three back on the outer before taking off with 1300 metres to go and finding the death seat with 900 metres to run. 
When the pressure went on at the 500 metres Rocker Band surprisingly folded immediately and drifted back through the field.
Donegal Kahlum headed for home in front but Smokin Bird after a lovely run in the trail zipped through on the inside and claimed a well deserved success.
Donegal Kahlum fought on bravely for second in front of a very unlucky Princess Arts who ran on well for third after being three wide for most of the last round.
Jonny Cox was all smiles post race.
“The race panned out beautifully for my filly.”
“She got the run of the race and was travelling like a winner a long way out.”
“ The draw made a lot of difference and if you reversed the draw you probably reversed the result,”Jonny said. 
The irony of picking up the drive from Matthew Williamson after his recent suspension for a raceday duel with Jonny was not lost on Jonny Cox.
“ It is just the way it worked out and it could just have happened the other way round to be honest,” Jonny said.
Trainer Kevin Court has a rich pedigree in unearthing age group talent and in Smokin Bird he has a filly who won't be out of place in the New Zealand Oaks and Harness Jewels.
Smokin Bird

Harnesslink Media 
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