Ocean Park claims the G1 QLD Derby
High class three-year-old Kovalica carried the weight of expectation with aplomb at Eagle Farm this afternoon to credit his sire Ocean Park with his fourth winner at the elite level.
The Chris Waller-trained representative easily justified his hot favouritism with a commanding staying performance to claim top honours in the G1 Queensland Derby with a minimum of effort.
He now joins Tofane (Stradbroke H., Orr S., All Aged S., Tatt’s Tiara), Kolding (Epsom H., All Aged S., George Main S.) and Ocean Billy (Auckland Cup) as winners at the highest level for the Waikato Stud stallion.
Kovalica sat one off the fence in midfield before peeling out and once he got the front 400 metres from home it was game over and he coasted clear with jockey James McDonald barely moving a muscle.
“It was a faultless ride and James cleverly got out into the three wide line at the half mile and had done nothing up to that stage,” Waller said. “It’s been a great success story.”
Kovalica had previously been successful in the G2 Queensland Guineas and the G3 Grand Prix S. and produced an outstanding Derby trial when third seven days ago in the G1 Doomben Cup.
“It was lovely and everything worked out well and he got into a beautiful rhythm and did the rest easily,” McDonald said.
Bred by Nearco Stud, he was purchased out of Curraghmore’s draft at New Zealand Bloodstock’s National Yearling Sale by bloodstock agent Guy Mulcaster for $110,000.
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