On April 4 Racing Te Aroha will host the 49th running of the Gr.1 New Zealand Thoroughbred Breeders’ Stakes (1600m).
The Fiber Fresh-sponsored feature attracts a strong field of quality sprinter/miler female racehorses each year and 2020 promises to be no different.
The meeting also provides an opportunity for members of the New Zealand Thoroughbred Breeders Association to get together at the annual event hosted by the Waikato Branch.
A major drawcard for those financial members in attendance will be the chance to win a service to this season’s breakout sire Ocean Park which has generously been donated by Waikato Stud as the prize for the Members’ Sweepstake.
“Ocean Park has been the most influential New Zealand-based sire in Australasia over the last season,” Waikato Stud boss Mark Chittick said.
“He currently leads New Zealand’s sire premierships for Australasian earnings and in Australia, he is the only NZ-based sire in the top ten on its general sires’ premiership.”
Ocean Park himself was a five-time Group One winner who achieved crowning glory in the 2012 edition of the time-honoured Cox Plate.
As a sire, Ocean Park has proven quite the revelation this season, with four stakes winners including the Chris Waller-trained Gr.1 Epsom Handicap and inaugural Golden Eagle winner, Kolding.
Importantly, three of these four stakes winners have come in Australia, with Oceanex and Tofane registering Group Two and Group Three success at Flemington and horses such as Rondinella, Another Dollar and Star of the Seas flying the flag with additional form across the Tasman.
“Just like O’Reilly before him, Ocean Park is a terrific endorsement for New Zealand,” Chittick said.
“He was bred here, trained here and is now leaving his mark as a sire here.
“We felt it was fitting for Waikato Stud to offer a service to him at a raceday celebrating New Zealand’s leading Group One fillies and mares.”
Parallels between the two sires don’t end there. Not only does O’Reilly feature in Ocean Park’s pedigree, but at the same point in time they both counted six stakes winners - albeit with the Ocean Park holding a slight edge due to being the first to strike Australian Group One success.
Ocean Park averaged $136, 428 at the 2020 Karaka Book One Yearling Sale and has had over 65 individual winners this season.
“We are very lucky to have been given a service to a stallion of the quality of Ocean Park,” said Waikato branch president Keith Lunn. “We are very grateful to Waikato Stud for their generosity and the chance to win a service to Ocean Park is a big incentive for financial members to attend the day.”
Financial members will be hosted in a marquee by the parade ring with lunch provided and spot prizes to be won. Members need to bring their membership card or proof of current membership to the race meeting to qualify for entry into the draw.
For more information contact Keith Lunn at the Waikato Branch of the Breeders’ Association on 029 914 5740 or email firstname.lastname@example.org