Karaka Graduates Strike in Victoria and Queensland

Sunday, May 17, 2020

Oceanex (NZ) wins the A$320,000 Listed Andrew Ramsden (2800m) at Flemington.
Oceanex (NZ) wins the A$320,000 Listed Andrew Ramsden (2800m) at Flemington. Photo: Brett Holburt/Racing Photos.

Graduates of New Zealand Bloodstock Sales struck black-type gold in two states this weekend, winning Listed events at Flemington and the Sunshine Coast.

Oceanex (NZ) Books Melbourne Cup Spot

Courtesy of a victory in Saturday’s A$320,000 Listed Andrew Ramsden (2800m) at Flemington, a story that started in the Karaka sale ring is set to go all the way to the Melbourne Cup (3200m) in November.

Oceanex (NZ) (Ocean Park) was bought for $70,000 by co-trainer Mick Price at the 2017 Premier Sale, and she is raced by a big group of small-time owners.

Already the winner of this season’s Group Two Matriarch Stakes (2000m) and Listed Port Adelaide Cup (2500m), the talented four-year-old delivered an even more significant result in Saturday’s staying test – the winner is exempt from the ballot for the Melbourne Cup.

Oceanex has now won six of her 18 starts and more than A$675,000 in stakes, and later this year she is set to give her owners an experience that money cannot buy.

“There'll be a bit of nerves now,” said Price, who trains in partnership with Michael Kent Jnr.

“These owners, they're like mums and dads, the Bon Beach footy club boys are in it. It's going to be a sensational story.”

Oceanex had her first start beyond 2000 metres in the Port Adelaide Cup on May 2, and she is now undefeated in two attempts over longer distances.

Mark Zahra gave her a perfect ride on Saturday from an inside gate, trailing the leader before moving out at the 300-metre mark to make a challenge.

Oceanex ran the 2800-metre distance out impressively strongly, asserting her superiority and winning by three-quarters of a length from the favourite King of Leogrance (Camelot).

“Her first go at 2500 in Adelaide was strong, and today was fantastic,” Price said. "I know she drew barrier one and got the gun ride, but she beat the right horse in the race and she won convincingly.

“I’ll have to think about it (preparation for the Melbourne Cup) now – the pressure is on. She hasn’t had a grinding, stayer’s prep or anything. She’s got a beautiful set of lungs and she stays.”

Vendor Milan Park
Purchaser Mick Price Racing (Victoria)
Breeding Ocean Park – Danex
Sale Lot 116, 2017 Premier Sale, $70,000
Bred by T V Rider

Karaka Graduate Victorious in Wayne Wilson

Victory Eight (NZ) dominated the A$125,000 Listed Radiotab Wayne Wilson (1600m). Photo: Grant Peters.

Two-time Karaka graduate Victory Eight (NZ) (Nadeem) claimed a career-best victory in Friday’s A$125,000 Listed Radiotab Wayne Wilson (1600m) at the Sunshine Coast, upstaging well-performed rivals Gaulois (Street Cry) and Baccarat Baby (Casino Prince) in a photo finish.

The six-year-old gelding had drawn one of the outside gates and sat three-wide for most of the race, but he stretched out powerfully to move up alongside Gaulois and Baccarat Baby in the straight. That trio hit the finish line locked together, with Victory Eight and jockey Sean Cormack reaching out to score by a head.

Bred by Tim Harrison, Victory Eight was a $30,000 purchase from Te Runga Stud’s draft at the 2015 Select Sale at Karaka. He returned later that year for the Ready to Run Sale, where Ciaron Maher Racing bought him for $80,000.

Victory Eight has now had 44 starts for 10 wins, 11 placings and A$315,400 in prize-money for a group of 10 owners.

Victory Eight is trained locally at the Sunshine Coast by Trevor Miller, and Friday’s feature was his eighth win on his home track.

“It was a very gutsy win, I was very pleased,” Miller told NZ Racing Desk. “He travelled three-wide right throughout with cover, which is where I thought he would be from the alley he had (gate 11). He showed a lot of guts and determination to win.

“He has done what we have asked him to do, and he ran a pretty good race. He has proved that he is up to them.”

Vendor Select Sale: Te Runga Stud
Ready to Run Sale: Esker Lodge
Purchaser Select Sale: NZB as agent (Matamata)
Ready to Run Sale: Ciaron Maher Racing (Victoria)
Breeding Nadeem – Queen’s Colours
Sale Lot 628, 2015 Select Sale, $30,000 
Lot 25, 2015 Ready to Run Sale, $80,000
Bred by T O Harrison