Future in the balance for Ocean Park

The future of Kiwi star Ocean Park is up in the air following his failure in the G1 Dubai Duty Free (1800m) at Meydan.

Ocean Park (4h Thorn Park – Sayyida by Zabeel) didn’t exhibit his customary strong finishing burst and crossed the line 12 of 14 behind Darley filly Sajjhaa.  The winner broke the track record clocking 1.47.93s for the 1800m journey – Ocean Park was 10 lengths astern.

International jockey Johnny Murtagh was succinct with his comments after the race when questioned about the performance.  “They quickened up and I didn’t,” said Murtagh.

Trainer Gary Hennessy has abandoned plans for a European campaign.  “There was some heat in one of his forelegs the morning after the race but the scans showed it’s not serious.  He will return home for a spell and, in the meantime, we will decide whether to return to Australia for another Cox Plate or whether he goes to stud.  I will talk it over with my part-owners.”

Hennessy purchased Ocean Park for $150,000 from Trelawney Stud at the NZB 2010 Karaka Select Sale.  He then brought in Hong Kong owners Andrew Wong and Steve Yan.

There will be no shortage of studs willing to back Ocean Park’s chances of making the grade as a stallion.  A son of deceased NZ Champion sire Thorn Park, his second-dam Eastern Princess (Pompeii Court) is a three-quarter sister to Golden Slipper winner Courtza – the dam of NZ Champion sire son O’Reilly.