Ocean Park’s versatility highlighted at top level

The versatility of Waikato Stud stallion Ocean Park has been emphasized by his latest individual Group 1 winner.

Ocean Billy won over the extended 3200 metre trip of the G1 Auckland Cup and joined Tofane, successful in the G1 All Aged S. at 1400 metres, and Kolding, successful in both he G1 Epsom H. and G1 George Main S. as top-flight success stories for Ocean Park.

Ocean Billy settled well beyond midfield for rider Johnathan Parkes, who was having his first ride on the gelding, and travelled sweetly.

Parkes tracked into the race at the 800 metre mark and the launched a lightning move on the point of the turn to shoot clear and win by 2l.

“My family is here while old Pete Ludgate, his part-owner who is 90-odd, is back in Rotorua so I’m just hoping his heart handles it,” co-breeder, part-owner and trainer Bill Pomare said.

“For me, a young Maori boy who came out of nowhere, who slept under bridges and in cars, to suddenly have an Auckland Cup winner is incredible.

“I have to mention Justine Sclater as we both bred him and it was her vision to go to Ocean Park as I couldn’t afford it. I also owe my wife Suzi who rides him every day.

Parkes paid tribute post-race to the conditioning skills of Pomare.

“Bill presented the horse very, very well as he looked outstanding when I went to mount up on him,” he said. “Bill had instilled plenty of confidence in me and the horse has put in a terrific staying effort.”

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