Ocean Park firm favourite for G1 New Zealand Derby

Matamata colt Ocean Park (NZ) is on course for the G1 NZ Derby after a stunning four length victory in the G3 Wellington Stakes (1600m) at Trentham on Saturday.

Ocean Park (3c Thorn Park – Sayyida by Zabeel) was slow from the gates and raced at the back of the field until Chad Ormsby stoked him up at the 600 metres.  In a professional performance against a tough field, Ocean Park picked up the leaders in a matter of strides and extended in style in the straight.

Trainer Gary Hennessy declared there’s a lot of improvement left in the Thorn Park colt who is now firm favourite for the Group 1 New Zealand Derby on March 3.

Thorn Park sired Jimmy Choux to win the NZ Derby last year.  That helped the Windsor Park champion become the first stallion to break through the $3 million barrier in progeny earnings in New Zealand in 2010-11.

Ocean Park was purchased from Trelawney Stud at the NZB 2010 Karaka Select Sale for $150,000.  Hennessy races him with Hong Kong owners Andrew Wong and Steve Yan.

Ocean Park won on debut at Makaraka in November and followed up with an Ellerslie victory later that month.  He looked a good thing beaten when  finishing just a head behind King’s Tour in the G2 Great Northern Guineas on Boxing Day after striking trouble in the straight.

The Wellington Stakes prizemoney takes Thorn Park to second place on NZ premiership behind O’Reilly.  Ocean Park also extended Zabeel’s lead on the NZ Broodmare premiership.  He is over $360,000 clear of Centaine.  Zabeel also leads the Australian Broodmare premiership with $6.93 million in earnings.

Thorn Park has 56 entries at Karaka 2012 including:

Lot 207 – Half-brother to the Group 2 winner Hidden Asset (High Chaparral) from the Zabeel mare Fragile Asset, the same cross as Ocean Park.

Lot 222 – Half-brother to the Group 1 winner and Hong Kong Horse of the Year Ambitious Dragon (Pins).

New Zealand Bloodstock’s 2012 National Yearling Sales Series is set to commence on Monday 30 January at the earlier time of 10am.  For news and sales information visit www.nzb.co.nz