Resident Waikato Stud stallion Ocean Park was to the forefront of the trans-Tasman racing action on Saturday where he was represented by four individual winners on the day, including a Group Three success at Royal Randwick.
The Chris Waller-trained Kolding booked himself a start in the Gr.1 Epsom Handicap (1600m) in a fortnight when he displayed all the toughness of his five-time Group One winning sire after fighting back to win the Gr.3 Bill Ritchie Handicap (1400m) after being headed by eventual runner-up Fierce Impact.
That followed wins by Fabric over 1400m at Caulfield, Ocean Addict over 2200m at Eagle Farm while Seductress was successful over 2100m in the first race of the day at Hastings.
Hong Kong-based galloper King Opie provided the icing on the cake by making it a fabulous five for Ocean Park when he took out the main race at Sha Tin, the Class 2 Pok Oi Centenary Cup Handicap (1600m).
Waikato Stud principal Mark Chittick was rapt with the results, particularly by the victory of Fabric who the Stud retains an ownership interest in and is trained by good mate, Danny O’Brien.
“I was talking with Danny on Saturday morning and he thought Fabric was ready to run a bold race although he was concerned by the wide draw,” Chittick said.
“Craig (Williams) did a great job in getting her into a good position and she really let down well in the home straight.
“It was the sort of win that suggests she is capable of getting some black-type so that is what the plan for her will be.
“It’s so good to see her win for Danny as he is a great mate of mine and it was a special result for the extended family as she (Fabric) is a daughter of Haberdashery who is a half-sister to Hope So, the dam of King Opie.”
With nineteen individual winners since August 1, Ocean Park has made a flying start to the new racing season and Chittick believes this could be the year where the son of Thorn Park establishes himself at the very top end of the local stallion market.
“He has proved that he can leave plenty of winners but just needs one or two results to go his way at the elite level,” Chittick said.
“You get the feeling he is on the cusp of something big and with a smidgeon more luck he could have had one or more Group One winners already.
“Another Dollar (Queensland Oaks, 2400m), Mongolianconqueror (New Zealand Derby, 2400m) and Arrogant (Rosehill Guineas, 2000m) all went within a whisker of gaining a Group One success which would have moved him into the top echelon.
“With the results he is now producing I think it is only a matter of time before he gets that result and the floodgates open.”
Chittick also believes that success will be due in part to trainers working out the right way to get the best out of Ocean Park’s progeny.
“He (Ocean Park) was a tough bugger who thrived on hard work,” he said.
“His offspring are the same and are typical of the great New Zealand thoroughbred breed - superb temperaments, durable and willing to tackle anything you throw at them.
“Even in the breeding barn Ocean Park is a worker who would do more if asked. He currently has 140 mares booked for this season but that may end up even a little higher.
“He will handle that comfortably and it is testament to the fantastic job he is doing, that he enjoys such strong support.”
Ocean Park stands at Waikato Stud for a fee of $15,000 + GST for the 2019 breeding season. – NZ Racing Desk