As a former jump jockey who rode almost 100 winners, Clive Cox was accustomed to relatively slow horses who could sustain a gallop for several miles.
It’s perhaps ironic, then, that as a trainer his biggest triumphs have been with top-notch sprinters capable of blasting along at about 40mph from start to finish.
Lethal Force, Profitable, Harry Angel and Golden Horde have all been Group One-winning speedsters for him in QIPCO British Champions Series races.
But he is no one-trick pony. He also saddled My Dream Boat to land the Prince of Wales’s Stakes at Royal Ascot in 2016.
In addition, he has gained a reputation for winning prestigious races with horses he bought cheaply as yearlings. New Seeker, Xtension and Reckless Abandon have been examples.
Cox initially trained at Wootton Bassett in Wiltshire, although that venture only lasted for a single year before he quit to become assistant trainer to Mikey Heaton-Ellis at a yard at nearby Barbury Castle. When Heaton-Ellis died in 1999, Cox took over the licence.
He moved to his current residence, Beechdown Stables in Lambourn (which is owned by the former Champion Jump Jockey and TV pundit, John Francome) in May 2000. Adam Kirby has been his long-time No 1 jockey.
Cox is a popular character but just don’t mention the 1988 Grand National to him. He partnered Sacred Path, the favourite, and fell at the first fence.