Bennett Racing 3yo King Neptune delivered on the promise he has shown with an easy 1.25L win at Cranbourne Friday night. Going off as 2nd elect, the Ocean Park gelding jumped very well under Jye McNeil and was soon leading out wide. Jye kept King Neptune out wide inviting someone to come underneath him to take up the lead and when someone obliged he rolled the horse over to sit outside them. The speed was taken out in the middle stages which did in fact get King Neptune up onto the bit but Jye was able to keep him somewhat travelling well. Although making a few turns on the wrong leg, King Neptune was always travelling like a winner and when Jye pushed the button on straightening, he quickly put a couple of lengths on them and was eased down near the line to win easily.

The gelding hasn’t been the easiest of horses for trainer Phil Stokes and his team. It was always a bit of a battle with riders early days to get the horse to settle in his work and early trials. Phil had a plan to run him over the shorter courses feeling the fast pace wouldn’t give him time to think too much but in his first couple of runs he was always keen whilst being held behind. After a very wide run resuming this time in, the gelding certainly started to run more track ably and put in some very good efforts last two starts.

Early days it was thought he may run a trip but at this stage he looks a good 1400m / 1600m horse.

A terrific result for all involved and King Neptune took his record to 7 starts 1 win & 3 2nds earnings nearly 42k.

A 170k purchase from 2021 Magic Millions Sale, King Neptune was selected from the famed Waikato Stud Draft. A son of Cox Plate winner and successful sire Ocean Park, King Neptune’s dam is by the Champion Sire O’Reilly. She is a ½ sister to the stakeswinning Ocean Park gelding Seaway & top class Singapore galloper Kiwi Karma. In fact King Neptune is actually a ¾ brother in blood to Seaway. Interesting that whilst King Neptune is New Zealand bred his family goes back to the Champion racemare of the 70’s in Toltrice with that champion mare being his 5th dam!

Toltrice was the winner of the Gr1 1000 Guineas, Gr1 VRC Oaks & Wakeful Stks even a William Reid Stks. As a broodmare she was just as sensational leaving Group 1 Derby winner Seltrice, Group  winners Tolhurst, Almurtajaz both successful sires also Vain Display & Lady Of Renown.  Vain Display went on to leave Gr1 Lighning Stks winner Keltrice as successful stallion in his own right

King Neptune got the job done and was impressive in doing so. Purchased as a potential classic horse/stayer being by the top Sire Ocean Park, he looks at the moment, to be a horse best suited around the 1400m mark at the moment. The Stokes team have found him quite tricky and he is still a work in progress. Ocean Park has Sired some very good Sprinter/Milers headed by the multiple Gr 1 winner Tofane. Exciting young horse who could well work his way to Metro class now and with his ability to handle wet tracks – he could have a profitable Winter

Congratulations to all owners and thankyou to Phillip Stokes and his Team for the effort put into King Neptune.

The future sure looks bright for this young gelding.