Kiwi flies home in Cox Plate
New Zealand's Ocean Park recorded an historic win in the Group One Sportingbet Cox Plate at Moonee Valley.
The four-year-old became the first Kiwi to win Australasia's weight-for-age championship since Sunline in 2000 and the first New Zealand-trained male since Solvit 18 years ago when he provided Gary Hennessy with his biggest win as a trainer and jockey Glen Boss with his third victory in the race.
Hennessy said the victory was the culmination of a plan hatched after Ocean Park finished an unlucky second in the Rosehill Guineas and he was thrilled to fly the Kiwi flag.
"This is great and I'm really pleased for all of New Zealand," Hennessy told www.racingvictoria.net.au.
"We set a plan way back in the autumn and today he was huge. It's a huge thrill for (owners) Andrew (Wong) and Steve (Yan) to be here today and we've got ourselves a really lovely horse and today he has proved that he is the best weight-for-age horse in Australasia."
Ocean Park became the first horse since the Group One system was formalised in 1979 to complete four straight Group One wins with victory in the Cox Plate when he maintained an unbeaten spring after wins in the Makfi Challenge, Underwood Stakes and Caulfield Stakes.
Boss, 43, who partnered Makybe Diva to a hat-trick of Melbourne Cup wins, said the victory was up there with anything he has achieved in racing.
"It feels like my greatest achievement in this sport so far," Boss said. "I know I've done some wonderful things, but I've been in this colt's corner the whole time and there have been doubters but I kept saying he is a winner.
"I pencilled this horse in after the Rosehill Guineas and said this horse is a star. I kept telling people that when this horse comes back next preparation you must watch him because he is a serious racehorse."