Ocean Emperor (NZ) Defends Tauranga Stakes CrownSaturday, Nov 17, 2018
Karaka graduate Ocean Emperor (NZ) (Zabeel) has gone back-to-back in the $100,000 Group 2 Gartshore Tauranga Stakes (1600m), defending his title in Tauranga’s weight-for-age feature on Saturday.
Last year’s Tauranga Stakes was the first stakes win for the $450,000 Premier Sale purchase, beating the Group One pair of Kawi (NZ) (Savabeel) and Miss Wilson (Stratum).
On Saturday he lifted his tally of black-type victories to three. Rider Lynsey Satherley had the seven-year-old trailing the early leader Nicoletta (NZ) (Savabeel), then moved him up beside that rival at the top of the straight.
Nicoletta refused to go down without a fight, but Ocean Emperor slowly but surely got the better of her and won by a length and a quarter.
Ocean Emperor has now had 27 starts for nine wins, five placings and $269,125 in prize-money. As well as the last two editions of the Tauranga Stakes, he has also won the Group 2 Japan-NZ International Trophy (1600m).
“He looks amazing and he’s just doing things right this time in,” trainer and part-owner Gary Hennessy said.
“I think he showed today that he’s definitely got a decent race in him. He has a huge turn of foot. When he gets a nice trail, he can just explode in the straight.
“He’s also got a ton of guts and doesn’t give in. He’s just a lovely horse to deal with.”
The Tauranga Stakes produced a Karaka trifecta. Nicoletta was a $90,000 purchase at the 2015 Select Sale and has now earned $252,100.
|Vendor||Waikato Stud Ltd|
|Purchaser||Mr G Hennessy (Matamata)|
|Breeding||Zabeel – Tootsie|
|Sale||Lot 402, 2013 Premier Sale, $450,000|
|Bred by||G J Chittick|