At Tauranga in New Zealand, Cambridge Stud's deceased multiple champion sire Zabeel (Sir Tristram-Lady Giselle, by Nureyev) added a Group race success when talented 6YO New Zealand-bred entire Ocean Emperor (Zabeel-Tootsie, by Pins) finally opened his stakes account against a quality field in the $100,000 Gr2 Tauranga Stakes (1600m) for 3YO+, defeating Miss Wilson & Kawi. The lightly raced but injury prone Ocean Emperor improved his record to 6 wins and 5 placings from 16 starts for NZ$119,625 in earnings. Trainer Gary Hennessy, who purchased Ocean Emperor for NZ$450,000 from Waikato Stud at the 2014 NZ Bloodstock Premier Yearling Sale, owns him with Hong Kong partners Andrew Wong and Steve Yang, the same trio that raced Cox Plate winner and Waikato Stud sire Ocean Park. He is out of Gr3 Mannerism Stakes winner Tootsie and hails from the family of stakes winners La Rose Noir, Urbane, and Espurante. Waikato Stud principal Mark Chittick said: "Gary Hennessy has done an unbelievable job with this horse. He's been so patient and he's always rated him so highly." He added: "Good on him, off the back of Ocean Park they bought this horse for $450,000 from us. They deserve it, he's won a really nice race and it's still early days, the horse hasn't had much racing."
At Hastings in New Zealand, Widden Stud's Gr1 Golden Slipper-winning stallion Stratum (Redoutes Choice-Bourgeois, by Luskin Star) added a Group race success when 5YO bay mare Miss Wilson (Stratum-Cierzo, by Centaine) dominated her rivals when bursting clear at the top of the straight for an easy win in the $70,000 Gr3 Spring Sprint (1400m) for 3YO+, defeating Lucyinrio & Amarula. This was the second stakes victory for Miss Wilson who is a half-sister to 5-time Gr1 winner and sire Jimmy Choux (Thorn Park). She improved her record to 6 wins (including the Gr3 Cuddle Stakes) and 4 placings from 20 starts for $177,145 in earnings. Owner Richard Wood said he and trainer John Bary had Group One ambitions for Miss Wilson. “I think John has her headed toward the Captain Cook [Gr1] in Wellington, track dependent,” Wood told NZ Racing Desk. “She’s a great looker from a great family so she will make a great broodmare, so that’s the plan.”
John Bary won't hesitate to bypass the early domestic spring features with his stable star Miss Wilson, reports NZ Racing Desk. The Hastings trainer is keen on a first-up tilt at Group One honours in the Tarzino Trophy, with Melbourne pencilled in as Plan B. "The first leg of the series here is attractive if the track is okay for her and if she can get in," Bary said. "If she wasn't going to get a run, I wouldn't think twice about heading straight to Melbourne without a race here." Bary added: "There's plenty of fillies and mares' races at set weights over there for her starting with the Let's Elope [Gr2] and, if she was going well enough, the Myers Stakes [Gr1] would be her main aim." A half-sister by Stratum to Bary's former New Zealand Horse of the Year Jimmy Choux, Miss Wilson made impressive progress during her last preparation with four consecutive wins, culminating in a Gr3 victory in the Cuddle Stakes and a fourth in the Gr1 New Zealand Thoroughbred Breeders' Stakes. "She had two months off after that and she's been back in the stable since June 5," Bary said. "She spelled on the property here and was rugged and fed twice a day. She's cruising around now and she's a happy horse."
At Trentham racecourse in New Zealand, Widden Stud's Gr1 Golden Slipper-winning stallion Stratum (Redoutes Choice-Bourgeois, by Luskin Star) added a Group success when 4YO mare Miss Wilson (Stratum-Cierzo, by Centaine) scored by 0.75 length for trainer John Bary in the $70,000 Gr3 Cuddle Stakes (1600m) for 3YO+ fillies & mares, over 5YO mares Stylish Attack (Tavistock-Western Invasion, by Best Western) & Charmont (High Chaparral-Martique, by Danehill). This was a valuable black-type victory for Miss Wilson who is a half-sister to 5-time Gr1 winner and sire Jimmy Choux (Thorn Park). She improved her record to 5 wins and 4 placings from 16 starts for $123,559 earnings.