Border racing legend Ollie Cox dies

Ollie Cox

Ollie Cox

ANOTHER link to a golden age of Border district racing has been lost with the death of highly regarded Wodonga trainer Ollie Cox.

Cox is the father of leading Wodonga trainer Brian, with the father-son duo producing more than 10 Wodonga Cup winners and a succession of horses which tasted success on city tracks.

He was granted a trainer’s licence from the Victorian Racing Club in August 1959 and trained for four decades.

Upon retirement he was granted an honorary trainer’s badge.

Cox was also a former successful amateur rider for more than a decade in the Border district.

He was a committeeman and life member of Wodonga and District Turf Club and worked alongside the late Jack Maher in raising the standard of the track.

The 83-year-old died on Thursday night.

“It is a say day, but he went very peacefully,” Brian Cox said.

His father trained in an era of household trainers including the late Hal Hoysted and Jack Freyer and Bert Honeychurch, who is still alive.

They shared the spoils of all the major races in the North East and Southern Districts.

Arguably the best horse Cox trained was Burmonga, who won nine successive races and some near misses in Melbourne.

Burmonga won the 1965 Albury Cup for Bill Hoysted before transferring to Cox and finishing second to Glo Whirl in the 1967 Albury cup as a 12-year-old.

Another horse, Rockabye, had her career cruelly cut short by injury at Flemington after showing early promise.

Kilmore cup winner Northern Poet, The Burgenstock, Epicentre and St Chrisoph were other highly successful horses for Cox.

Cox lived at Westmont Aged Care Hostel in his latter years, but was still a regular attendee of major local race meetings.

His wife Evelyn died in 2011 in the hours following son Brian winning his second Albury City Hcp with Berringama.

He is survived by sons Brian, Nigel and Kevin.

His funeral is expected to be held at Wodonga Racecourse on Friday subject to confirmation.

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