Cox’s last roll of the dice pays dividends

WODONGA trainer Brian Cox’s decision to persevere with talented galloper Tumbulgum is set to reap dividends at Moonee Valley tomorrow night.

Now a seven-year-old, Cox originally trained Tumbulgum as a three-year-old when he broke his maiden with an emphatic six-length victory at Seymour before having three city starts for two minor placings.

The talented gelding was then transferred to the Michael Freedman stable in Singapore where as a four-year-old he won three of his first four races and was also placed in group 3 company.

Tumbulgum returned to the Cox stable in mid-2011 and was off the scene for 77 weeks after a throat operation.

Tumbulgum, who stands 17 hands and tips the scales in excess of 600 kilograms, resumed last February and finished unplaced in five runs.

“He just didn’t come up last preparation and I did discuss with the owners about retiring the horse,” Cox said.

“We decided to give him one more prep because he was coming back from a throat operation and overseas so he had a few excuses.

“He was flying over in Singapore and ran second behind Mexican Rose who was rated the best sprinter in Singapore at the time.”

Tumbulgum resumed from a 34-week spell late last month and has scored consecutive victories at Wagga and Albury, raising hopes he could once again measure up to city class at Moonee Valley tomorrow night.

“The horse is going fantastic,” he said.

“Ideally you would like to see him on a bigger track but there are only seven horses in the race.

“He seems to have recaptured the form he showed as a younger horse but tomorrow night will tell us a lot more.”

Cox will saddle up stablemates Chinzia and Full Hand at the meeting.

Chinzia finished sixth at her most recent start at Moonee Valley while Full Hand ran second at Seymour.