Oceanex is continuing to please trainers Mick Price and Michael Kent Jr ahead of the Group 1 Melbourne Cup (3200m) in November. The daughter of Ocean Park guaranteed her spot in the great race after winning the Listed The Andrew Ramsden (2800m) at Flemington in May.
The five-year-old mare has finished towards the tail of the field in her two assignments this prep, but her trainers have been happy with her runs. “Last start she really ran on well,” Kent said. “She ran home in a pretty slick time and she was getting home nicely. Mark Zahra was really pleased with her run.”
Kent has been pleased with her progress since and he is hoping she can gain a place in next month’s Group 1 Caulfield Cup (2400m) after her Group 1 Turnbull Stakes (2000m) assignment next week. “Every time we gallop her she recovers better and better,” Kent said. “She goes to the Turnbull on Saturday-week over 2000m. I am not sure yet who will ride her in the Turnbull, but we are hoping after that run to get a start in the Caulfield Cup.
“She is number 56 in order (of entry), but there is a natural attrition rate, so we are hoping to get a run. “If not it will be the Geelong Cup (Group 3, 2400m) or Moonee Valley Cup (Group 2, 2500m), and then into the Melbourne Cup where she has got 51.5 kilos. “We are really happy with her. Everything has gone to plan as expected, which is fantastic.”
While Kent is looking forward to having his first runner in the race that stops a nation, he might not be able to take in the occasion on the day as a result of COVID-19 restrictions. “I just hope we can go at this stage,” he said. “It is unique over here, only Mick or myself can attend the races, not both of us at the same time, so we will see what happens. “But it is very exciting.”
Oceanex, a half-sister to Group 3 Gold Trail Stakes (1200m) winner Miss Aotearoa, was purchased out of Milan Park’s 2017 New Zealand Bloodstock Premier Yearling Sale draft by Mick Price for $70,000.