Cox Plate winner Ocean Park (NZ) will make a guest appearance at Ellerslie next Sunday, January 27.
Trainer Gary Hennessy has committed his outstanding charge to a gallop between races at the Karaka Million Twilight Meeting. It will be the launching pad for an ambitious campaign that comprises Group 1 races in New Zealand, Dubai, England and Ireland.
“He will resume in the Haunui Farm Classic on February 23 and then head to the Dubai Duty Free on March 30,” said Hennessy. “We discussed the Duty Free with Brent Thompson and we think that it’s a good race – he won the Underwood Stakes in the spring over the same (1800m) distance.
“We are under no illusions and it’s a big challenge but he has great form around him and he beat some very good horses in the spring.”
Ocean Park will then head to Royal Ascot which Hennessy hopes will be the start of a full campaign over the English and Irish summers. “We will give the horse a good break after Dubai and then head to the Group 1 Queen Anne Stakes at Royal Ascot. The straight mile over the undulating course requires a horse to be able to run a strong 1600 metres as it’s a testing race and we think that it’s the right race for him.
“We are hoping to keep him in England and Ireland over their summer so a race like the Irish Champion Stakes is on the cards. That race has been won by some of the world’s best horses including Sadler’s Wells, High Chaparral and Sea the Stars. Races like the English Champion Stakes towards the end of their season are also an option.”
The English Champion Stakes is another high profile race having been won by the likes of New Approach, Cirrus des Aigles and Frankel last year.
Ocean Park (4h Thorn Park – Sayyida by Zabeel) was sold by Trelawney Stud for $150,000 at the 2010 Karaka Select Sale and the Stud will offer a half-brother to the Cox Plate winner by Pins on the second day of the 2013 Karaka Premier Sale as Lot 330.
“Ocean Park’s dam Sayyida throws lovely types,” commented Trelawney Stud principal Brent Taylor. “Having Ocean Park make $150,000 and then Lady Sayyida (Iffraaj) top the 2011 Select Sale at $290,000 is a testament to that and the Pins colt is very much in that mould, he’s a lovely type.”