Ocean Park cements Derby favouritism with runaway Trentham win Sat, 21 Jan 2012
Ocean Park powered his way to clear favouritism for the Gr.1 Telecom New Zealand with a commanding performance at Trentham today that left his rivals chasing a memory in the home straight.
The Gary Hennessy-trained colt bolted away with the Gr.3 Cataldo Bloodstock Wellington Stakes to earn a $3 fixed odds quote for the March 3 classic at Ellerslie. He has displaced Knight’s Tour at the head of the market with the last start Gr.2 Great Northern Guineas winner remaining firm at $5. When the TAB’s Derby market opened in late November quoting Ocean Park at $21, the good looking bay had been a dead-heat winner at Gisborne in his only start.
He won his next start and his only defeat came in the Great Northern Guineas at the hands of Knight’s Tour, when he was denied clear galloping room in the straight and found the line strongly to go down narrowly.
Rider Chad Ormsby ensured there was no chance of bad luck coming into the equation today. He settled Ocean Park one of the fence at the back of the field and began his move across the top.
The pair quickly eased around runners to take control early in the straight and sailed away to win easing down by four-and-a-half lengths from Nashville and Burgundy. The unfancied filly Astucious took fourth money with a career-best performance.
“He keeps stepping up and it’s quite freakish,” Hennessy said. “There’s a lot of improvement in the horse yet.”
Ocean Park will now follow the traditional Derby path with his next start in the Gr.3 HS Dyke Waikato Guineas at Te Rapa on February 4 and then his final lead-up in the Gr.2 Avondale Guineas at Ellerslie on February 18.
It is a similar route taken by last year’s Derby hero Jimmy Choux, who won at Trentham and Te Rapa, but bypassed the Avondale feature, on his way to Blue Riband success.
The other common factor is they are both by Windsor Park Stud’s Thorn Park. Ocean Park can claim another major plus as he is out of Sayyida, a daughter of the champion stallion Zabeel.
Hennessy said his colt had both the ideal temperament and racing manners to cope with the Derby distance of 2400 metres and he was confident the trip would present no problem.
He purchased Ocean Park for $150,000 out of Trelawney Stud’s Select Sale consignment to Karaka in 2010 and shares in the ownership with Hong Kong-based associates Andrew Wong and Steve Yan.