Thorn Park Recovering From Laminitis Surgery
Thorn Park, the champion NZ-based sire of Cox Plate winner Ocean Park, is fighting to regain his health after undergoing surgery last week for laminitis.
Thorn Park stands at Windsor Park Stud in New Zealand, a nursery that now boasts the unrivalled record of breeding three of the last four Cox Plate winners.
Windsor Park bred the dual Cox Plate winner So You Think (High Chaparral) and it could have been four in succession for the stud as Jimmy Choux, another son of Thorn Park, was beaten into second place last year by the Reset mare Pinker Pinker.
Ocean Park's Cox Plate win is his fourth G1 victory in succession and has all but assured Thorn Park, also the sire of recent G1 Flight Stakes winner Norzita, of more sire seasonal honours in 2012-13
However Thorn Park's success is bitter sweet for Windsor Park Stud as the 13-year-old son of Spinning World was taken out of service after covering only 20 mares at the start of this season after contracting a leg infection.
While the infection cleared up after treatment his condition deteriorated into laminitis due to the weight he was placing on his good leg.
"It has been a rollercoaster ride," said Windsor Park Stud's Mike Moran in the wake of Ocean Park's Cox Plate win.
"He has had surgery. There's a long way to go, but the horse is an amazing fighter and I just hope he can come through it."
Ocean Park (Thorn Park x Sayyida, by Zabeel) began his winning sequence in the G1 Makfi Challenge Stakes (1400m) in New Zealand before moviung to Melbourne where he has become only the sixth horse to win Underwood Stakes (1800m), Caulfield Stakes (2000m) and Cox Plate (2040m) treble in the same season, joining the champion weight-for-age performers Ajax, Bonecrusher, Almaarad, Northerly and So You Think.
Trainer Gary Hennessy paid $NZ150,000 for Ocean Park at the 2010 NZB Select Sale and his Cox Plate cheque of $1.8 million took his earnings to more than $2.5 million and has sealed a bright future for the four-year-old as a stud prospect.
He has now seven of his 11 career starts and has been placed second three times.
His dam Sayyida won two races over distances of 1400m and 1600m and has produced two winners from two runners.
She is out of the winning mare Eastern Princess (Pompeii Court), the grandddam of the G1 winner Prince Kaapstad (Kaapstad) from the family of the champion sire O'Reilly.
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Certain select top level races are often referred to as 'breed shapers'. The same must be said of champion trainer Gai Waterhouse due to the impact her professional skills have had on Australian breeding at all levels.
Redoute's Choice has made Australia his own. Three general sires titles and a growing dynasty of sons at stud led by the likes of Snitzel and Not A Doubt has ensured a continuance of the dominant influence established by his own sire Danehill .