Group 1 winning Kiwi four year old Ocean Park is on track for the Cox Plate after lowering the colours of the more fancied runners in the Group 1 $400,000 Hyland Race Colours Underwood Stakes (1800m) at Caulfield today.
A smiling Glen Boss was able to secure a run between horses in the straight to run down leader Voila Ici and scored a soft win at the finish and trainer Gary Hennessy will now concentrate on a start in the Group 1 $3m Sportingbet Cox Plate (2040m) at Moonee Valley on October 27.
Boss gave a glowing report after the Underwood win and predicts a bright future for the Ocean Park after he downed some well performed Group 1 winners, including the heavily back Manighar who struggled in the straight to wind up in sixth spot.
“He’s a very good horse. He’s a very athletic horse, he won’t take much work. He’s just going to poke around and Gary is just going to be able to poke around with him here. What you see is what you get.” Boss said.
“He’s got an electric turn of foot and that’s what he showed me that day at Rosehill. He’s a genuine superstar,” Boss said.
“I was poking up behind them and I was going to get the perfect run through but I got tangled on heels for a couple of strides. He was always going to explode. It was a very soft victory .He’s a very exciting horse.”
The Peter Moody trained Voila Ici went straight to the lead and set up a moderate tempo and after skipping clear at the 300m couldn’t hold out the strong finish of Ocean Park.
Luke Nolen was able to get Manighar over from a wide barrier to be one off the fence midfield and even though he failed to pull in the leaders, Nolen was pleased with the run.
“He’ll bounce back wherever we go with him. I’m very satisfied with the horse at home,” Nolen said.