Ocean park

Ocean Park’s Tofane wins first Group 1 of 2022

Ocean Park’s outstanding daughter Tofane was due to be sold at last year’s National Broodmare Sale, before the decision was made to give her one more season at the track.

The Mike Moroney-trained mare justified her decision by winning the $1,500,000 (1,400m) Stradbroke Handicap Group 1 at Eagle Farm and the $600,000 (1,400m) Tatts Tiara Group 1 at the same track.

Last spring, she placed in Group 1 Memsie Stakes, Group 1 Toorak Handicap and finished fourth in Group 1 Makybe Diva Stakes.

Off the stage since finishing seventh in the Group 1 Empire Stakes at Flemington last October, Tofane looked a treat in the paddock ahead of Saturday’s $750,000 Group 1 Neds CF Orr Stakes at Caulfield and ran accordingly.

Sent to the front by Mark Zahra, the 6-year-old daughter of Ocean Park led them a merry dance to defeat the US import Lighthouse (USA) (Mizzen Mast) by a length and a half with a shorter neck towards Cascadian ( GB) (New approach) in third.

Winner of the Group 1 ATC All-Aged Stakes (1400m) at Randwick, Tofane takes his record to eight wins, four seconds and three thirds in 27 starts with earnings of $3,388,970.

“She came out this morning and really watched her game. It was a really good run from Mark,” Moroney said.

“I think he (Zahra) is heading to the airport to watch the Super Bowl, so he won’t even have time to give his speech.

“We thought the three-year-old (Lightsaber) would lead and we were going to sit on the outside and if anything wanted to come three wide we would be in the racing line. The three-year-old was slow and it was a good run forward.

“She was never going to be beaten from afar.”

“I think if you look at her record, she’s always better after Christmas. Mares usually are. She has the apples in her coat now. She had a fairly short break in Queensland, and she was tired, which was disappointing going into that group 1, mare race, group 1.

“She’s done a really good job of recovering because they don’t have a lot of time between spring and fall, so a great job from her.”

“We will go to Futurity and then we will stay here or we will go to Sydney. Sydney would be her swansong, I would say, and then she’ll go through sales, to Magic Millions.

What a heartbreaking mare (image Grant Courtney)

Bred by Gordon Cunningham of the Curraghmore Stud, Tofane had her early schooling on the Matamata property of Moroney. She won an 820m trial at Te Teko and was bought by a syndicate of Moroney customers including Rupert Legh and Neil Werrett.

Tofane is the best of the three winners of the same number to run on the mare Galileo Baggy Green.

Consigned to Inglis’ Australian Easter Yearling Sale in 2010, Baggy Green was knocked down by Dermot Farrington Bloodstock for $110,000.

She won a maiden 1600 at Goulburn for Guy Walter.

Galileo’s daughter was back in the ring at the 2013 Inglis Australian Bloodstock Sale, where Gordon Cunningham bought her for just $23,000.

Baggy Green’s three-quarter sister Funstar (Adelaide) won the Group 1 ATC Flight Stakes, and her half-sister Youngstar (High Chaparral) won the Group 1 BRC Queensland Oaks.

John O’Shea Racing/Laurel Oak Bloodstock went $220,000 to Karaka in 2020 for Baggy Green’s Reliable Man (GB) colt named Benaud.

Now the owner of Valachi Downs Stud, Baggy Green has a one-year-old sister in Tofane and revisited Ocean Park in 2020 after missing earlier cover from Savabeel.