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Ocean Park (NZ) Eyes Up Australian Riches

Ocean Park (NZ) Eyes Up Australian Riches

The exciting entire Ocean Park (NZ) asserted his claim as one of the best horses in New Zealand with a brilliant victory in the first Group 1 of the season, the $200,000 Makfi Challenge Stakes (1400m), at Hawke’s Bay on Saturday.

Trained by Gary Hennessy, Ocean Park (Thorn Park x Sayyida, by Zabeel) settled back in the race and found himself boxed in in the straight, spotting the leaders 200 metres from home. In a patient ride from jockey Lisa Allpress, she waited on a rails run and when the gap came the son of Thorn Park punched through, racing to a half-length victory ahead of Xanadu (Elusive City) in second and Justanexcuse (No Excuse Needed) in third.

Saturday’s race was the first Group 1 win for Ocean Park after an unlucky three-year-old season and Gary Hennessy was very impressed with the horse’s performance.

“I was confident coming into Saturday’s race,” said Hennessy. “His trial at Te Teko was very impressive; he just raced away from some nice horses, so we knew he was on track for a good run fresh up.”

Hennessy knew he had a top horse coming into the race after Ocean Park’s unlucky yet brave second placing in the Group 1 Rosehill Guineas, and he is keen to take the horse to Australia for the remainder of the spring.

“Glen Boss said after his run in the Rosehill Guineas last season that he was a serious Group 1 horse and an ideal type to take to the Cox Plate,” said Hennessy.

“He is nominated for the Cox Plate and the Caulfield Cup and we are looking at kicking off his Australian campaign in the Group 1 Underwood Stakes in three weeks’ time.

“We will wait and see what Glen Boss says about the horse after the Underwood but at this stage we are leaning more towards the Cox Plate.”

The Group 1 Underwood Stakes is the third leg of New Zealand Bloodstock’s Spring Weight-for-Age Championship at Caulfield and a win would see Ocean Park tied for the lead with Second Effort (Mossman) and Saturday’s Group 2 New Zealand Bloodstock Memsie Stakes winner Sincero (Umatilla).

Ocean Park was bred by Trelawney Thoroughbreds and was purchased by Gary Hennessy from Trelawney Stud for $150,000 at the 2010 Karaka Select Sale. Raced by Hennessy in partnership with Hong Kong residents Andrew Wong and Steve Yan, the son of Thorn Park has now won over $350,000 in stakes.

Ocean Park is the fourth Group 1 winner for his sire Thorn Park who had a top 2011/12 season with the likes of Jimmy Choux and Veyron both winning at Group 1 level. Thorn Park is the sire of 16 individual stakes winners and was New Zealand’s Champion Sire in 2010/11.

The win comes as another top result for Zabeel with Ocean Park the champion sire’s 19th individual Group 1 winner as a broodmare sire. Zabeel was the champion broodmare sire by earnings in both Australia and New Zealand last season being the dam-sire of top horses including Atlantic Jewel (Fastnet Rock) and Silent Achiever (O’Reilly).

Lady Sayyida, a half-sister to Ocean Park by Europe’s Champion First Season Sire Iffraaj, topped the 2011 Karaka Select Sale when purchased by trainer Roger James from Trelawney Stud for $290,000.
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