Cox Plate on the radar for Ocean Park

Ocean Park (NZ) stamped himself as one of the most progressive horses in Australasia with a blistering turn of foot to capture the G1 Makfi Challenge last week.

Ocean Park (Thorn Park) has impressed trainer Gary Hennessy from Day 1 and has only finished out of the placings once in his eight starts – finishing a luckless 8th in the Randwick Guineas.  The handsome four-year-old entire signalled he was right up with the best of his generation when he covered more ground than Burke and Wills when a narrow second to Laser Hawk in the Rosehill Guineas.

With tough assignments including the Underwood Stakes and the Cox Plate on the radar, success would see Ocean Park’s value as a stallion prospect increase tenfold.

Bred and sold by Trelawney Stud, Ocean Park is the fourth Group1 winner for Thorn Park following Jimmy Choux, The Party Stand and Veyron.  His damsire Zabeel is one of the great broodmare sires of all time with 19 Group 1 winner in that role.

And trainer Roger James rated holds his dam Sayyida, in high esteem.   “She was the favourite for the Avondale Guineas but broke a leg.  It was one of my darkest days in racing, that’s for sure,” James recalled.  “I thought she was the one I had waited for since (New Zealand Derby winner) Zonda.

“I’ve watched Ocean Park right through.  I tried to buy him but I didn’t have enough money. I had bought all my main orders and I left myself short on him.  He looks an excitement machine.  Right from the word go he has looked the goods.  He’s got his mum’s ability.”

Purchased by Gary Hennessy for $150,000 at the 2010 Karaka Select Sale, Ocean Park is raced by the Matamata conditioner in partnership with Hong Kong residents Andrew Wong and Steve Yan.

Sayyida has produced two winners from two runners to date starting with Ruqqaya (Van Nistelrooy) who was raced by Trelawney Stud before joining its broodmare band.

Ocean Park’s second dam Eastern Princess (Pompeii Court) is the dam of Brilliant Princess (Spectrum), herself the dam of the Group 1 winner Prince Kaapstad (Kaapstad).  It is also the family of Group 1 winner Critic (Centaine).

While James failed in his attempts to secure Ocean Park, he made sure he didn’t make the same mistake twice, purchasing a half-sister to Ocean Park by Iffraaj for a sales-topping $290,000 at the 2011 Karaka Select Sale.  She has been named Lady Sayyida.

“Sayyida has a lovely yearling colt by Pins which will be prepared for the Sydney Easter Sales next year,” Trelawney Stud’s Brent Taylor said.  “She failed to get in foal last year but has a date with Thorn Park this season.”