Ocean Ridge Ready for Action
It had to be seen to be believed. That’s the verdict after watching an outstanding performance by lightly-raced five-year-old Ocean Ridge at Pinjarra on Monday afternoon.
At his first appearance in a stand, Ocean Ridge galloped hopelessly at the start and settled down in last position in a field of 12, more than 15 lengths from the early pacemaker. He was tenth at the bell and ninth with 600m to travel before sustaining a spirited burst which carried him into second place behind Gee Jay Kay.
The Greg and Skye Bond-trained gelding will return to mobile racing when he starts from the No. 5 barrier in the opening event, the Catalano Truck and Equipment Pace over 2536m at Gloucester Park on Friday night.
Ocean Ridge has had four starts since resuming from a spell and has finished second in three of those races, and the winner at seven of his 20 starts is ready to return to the winning list. He won at three of his ten starts in New Zealand and has raced ten times in WA for four wins and three seconds.
He showed his class last year when he was an easy winner of a WA Derby prelude, beating King of Swing and Speed Man, before covering a lot of extra ground and finishing an excellent fourth behind King of Swing, Beachers Brook and Cott Beach in the Derby final.
Ocean Ridge is awkwardly drawn at barrier five on Friday night, but has the class to overcome that disadvantage and win from in-form pacers The Dali Express, The Verandah, Sergeant Oats and Jack William.
Ocean Ridge will be handled by his regular reinsman Ryan Warwick, who has excellent winning prospects with other Bond-trained pacers Mighty Santana, Ana Malak, Our Alfie Romeo, Twilight Saga and Taroona Bromac.
Warwick is also looking forward to representing Western Australia, along with Gary Hall Jnr, in the seven heats (all over 2090m) of the Australian Derivers’ Championship in Hobart of Saturday night.
Hall will miss Friday night’s Gloucester Park meeting and Stuart McDonald will have a busy night replacing Hall on seven horses, all with sound each-way prospects. His best drive should prove to be Robbie Easton, an up-and-coming four-year-old in race seven, the Allwood Stud Farm Pace.