By Jonny Turner
Jonny Cox will continue his countdown to driving Nandolo in the New Zealand Cup when combining with a host of winning chances at Rangiora on Friday.
Cox lines up Forgone Conclusion and In Chevron We Trust from his stable in race 10.
The Leeston horseman will drive Forgone Conclusion, who will be out to bounce back from a slightly disappointing run in his last start behind impressive winner, Sentry, at Winton.
The four-year-old came into the mile (1609m) event after going a big race to run second to Sentry in smart time 2-41.2 time for 2200m.
Cox thinks that run might be responsible for Forgone Conclusion blotting an otherwise copybook formline.
“I think he might have been a bit jaded from the Nugget final he was in the start before.”
“He worked around from the 1200m and sat parked and never threw it away.”
“It was only a four day back up, so I am putting it down to that.”
Forgone Conclusion looks to be dropping back in class on Friday when he steps up to 2000m.
Cox is hopeful the pacer can quickly bounce back to the kind of form he was in before his last start effort.
“He is suited to be out and rolling, he has got a bit of speed, but probably off a quick quarter.”
“Back to the 2000m, his wide draw doesn’t help, but it is a nice race for him to have before going into the Show Day Futurity Final next week.”
In Chevron We Trust does not have the same kind of formline, stacked with top three placings, that his stablemate brings in to race 10.
But Cox puts that down to bad luck, rather than the horse not going well enough.
“He hasn’t had all the luck.”
“He was in that Nugget Final and he just couldn’t get into it coming wide on a fast quarter around Invercargill.”
“With a handy draw on Friday, I think you will see a better version of him than what he has shown in the last couple of starts.”
Kimberly Butt takes the reins behind In Chevron We Trust.
Folklore comes into race 8 after running a creditable sixth in a stronger race, won by Somekindawonderful on Ashburton Flying Stakes day.
The five-year-old just need to step away in her first standing start to be competitive on Friday.
“It is another good race for her.”
“The standing start is the query, she can be a bit jumping at times.”
“She has come through her Ashburton run well, so hopefully “
“She stuck to her guns last week going 2.55. [for 2400m] and there were three or four nice ones that beat her home.”
“So, it is probably a drop back in grade, but she has got to do things right.”
Cox takes one outside drive at Rangiora, behind the Jesse Wederell trained Betterwithbling.
The 5yr-old has been solid running third and fifth in two starts from behind the mobile.
Like Folklore, Betterwithbling also negotiates his first standing start on Friday.
“He has been sensible, he has had a few stand starts at the workouts.”
“[Barrier] 1 is always going to be a tricky draw, especially coming off a couple of mobile starts.”
“But if he did happen to get away the 2600m should definitely suit him.”
“If he was able to sit in the trail of three back on the fence – he has been able to find the line pretty well in his first two starts – he is an eachway chance.”
Cox is hoping for a genuinely run New Zealand Cup to help Nandolo show off his best.
The six-year-old wasn’t suited to being tucked away three back on the inner in the Kaikoura Cup when running sixth.
A truly run 3200m is more up the Coaster Howe trained pacer’s alley.
“It is not really his cup of tea, the leaders got some pretty cheap sectionals through the middle half at Kaikoura.”
“He is going to draw four on the second line when the emergencies come out.”
“He generally steps away, he follows out Triple Eight, who usually begins well.”
“He might get a pretty good run through and he could end up midfield.”
“It is definitely not a bad draw for him.”
“So long as there is a true tempo to the race, as the Cups often have, he will be trucking on at the finish.”