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 New Zealand Gallops News 
Sunday, April 01 2018

Local three-year-old Ozil sprang a major upset when he downed hot favourite Gift Of Power in a driving finish to The Oaks Stud/Hong Kong Jockey Club Trophy (1200m) at Awapuni on Saturday.


Ozil (yellow colours) finishes powerfully for victory at Awapuni  - Race Images (Peter Rubery)

Unsighted since running fourth in the Listed Wanganui Guineas (1340m) back in September, the Denman gelding came with a withering late burst in the hands of Rosie Myers to snatch victory in a blanket finish. The heavily backed Gift Of Power was brave in defeat after she looked to have repelled a swarm of challengers before succumbing to Ozil’s irresistible finish with Pukekohe visitor The Ice Knight also finishing well for third.

Successful on debut as a late two-year-old, Ozil has been patiently handled by trainer Mike Breslin who expects to see him rise to the top echelon as he matures.

“This horse has always had heaps of ability,” he said.

“It was a big task first-up, so you had to be worried about the likes of Gift Of Power when he had been eight or nine months off the scene.

“He’s a super talented horse though and he showed it today.”

Breslin believes the slow maturing type will be seen at his best once he steps up in distance later in his career.

“He is going to be a horse that will shine once he matures as he is still six months away,” he said.

“I think he will need more ground to show his best and I think he will be a top miler as a four and five-year-old.”

Rider Rosie Myers was taken by the speed displayed by Ozil when she asked him for his home-straight effort.

“It’s been a while since I’ve been on one travelling like that,” she said.

“We came around the turn and I had a lot of horse under me and he showed that really good turn of foot.

“It’s been nine months since he’s been to the races and he has had a lot of issues, so it was a really good training feat.”

Breslin will now asses how his charge recovers from the performance but did indicate a shot at the Gr.3 Cambridge Breeders Stakes (1200m) at Te Rapa on 28 April was a real possibility.

Ozil finishes over the top of his rivals at Awapuni

Posted by: AT 12:46 am   |  Permalink   |  Email