Big race jockey Glen Boss convinced connections of New Zealand three year old Ocean Park to pay a late entry fee to run in the Group 1 $1.5m Australian Derby (2400m) at Randwick in a fortnight.
Kiwi trainer Gary Hennessey had a rethink after speaking to Boss and decided to pay the $40,000 late fee to secure a start in the Derby.
Boss rode Ocean Park last Saturday in the Group 1 $500,000 Flinders Lane Rosehill Guineas (2000m) at Rosehill when he just failed to reel in the Gai Waterhouse trained Laser Hawk and said with a bit of luck the result would have been reversed.
Hennessey agreed with Boss and is happy to send the Thorn Park colt around in the Derby at Randwick after missing the New Zealand Derby won by Silent Achiever back in early March.
“Bossy said he’s a genuine Group I horse and we can win the Derby,” Hennessy said. “He’s pulled up well and is eating normally, so we’ll make the late payment.”
“With any sort of luck in the running it would have been a different result.”
“We’re here now, he’s really settled into the swing of things and it makes sense after that result to give him the chance to go one better in the Derby.”
Boss settled Ocean Park well back in the field in the Rosehill Guineas and while Nash Rawiller was giving Laser Hawk the run of the race, Boss had to weave a passage and go wide on the Kiwi before making his challenge in the straight.
Ocean Park was able to hold off Silent Achiever, who also had a torrid run, in the drive to the line but was unable to peg back Laser Hawk who held on to win by a head.
Boss is convinced that Ocean Park is a genuine Derby hope after putting in a super effort and now that he knows the colt better, gives him a good chance of turning the tables on the Waterhouse three year old.
“I thought the horse was very good, because he had to make a long searching run from about the half mile and he was there to be beaten by that filly when she came up beside him,” Boss said.
“You thought she was going to pass him but he refused to let her get past. “
“I reckon if I’d had a ride before I might have ridden him a little bit different.
“He’s a really good looking horse, he’s not huge, he’s just a great athletic looking horse and he gives you a great feel. He’s going to be particularly hard to beat.”
Trainer Roger James hasn’t made a decision on whether Silent Achiever will run in the Derby or be kept for the Group 1 $550,000 ATC Oaks (2400m) at Randwick on April 21.
The O’Reilly filly put in an enormous effort and lost no admirers when third to Laser Hawk after jockey Hugh Bowman made a long run from the 1000m, circling the field on the home turn before going down by a head and a head in the drive to the line.
Silent Achiever was a dominant winner in the Group 1 NZ$750,000 Telecom New Zealand Derby (2400m) at Ellerslie on March 3 and James was very pleased with her Rosehill Guineas run considering she had to cover so much extra ground.