NT News

Sports clubs mates take on racing giants to live out a dream

- BEN DORRIES

FOR every oil-rich sheik or high-flying banker who has had a Melbourne Cup runner, there’s a story like the lads and ladies from the Bonbeach Sports Club who can complete a remarkable Cup dream.

The syndicate of 29 Bonbeach members, mainly made up of mums and dads, all chipped in to fork out about $4000 in total for a small share in $70,000 purchase Oceanex. The motley crew from Bonbeach, 30km south-east from Melbourne’s CBD, struck gold when Oceanex won a Melbourne Cup ticket by claiming the Andrew Ramsden in May. What started as a bit of fun between mates – and a way to raise a few extra dollars for club renovation­s and upkeep – is now the ultimate Melbourne Cup dream and potential rags to riches fairytale.

“Going back a while ago the Bonbeach Sports Club got approval from the council to renovate and upgrade our clubrooms,“club stalwart Stephen ‘Cocky’ Cochrane explains

“A lot of people follow the horses in our club and we thought how good would it be if we could start up a Racing Club and sell shares where we would own a few horses and then donate some of the prize money from those horses back to the club.

“There was virtually no income coming in through the clubrooms at the time so we needed money to help pay running costs for the clubrooms for the utilities, the gas and electricit­y and stuff. Mick Price is a sponsor of our club so we wanted to show a bit of support for Mick as well.”

The Oceanex story didn’t start with much promise – she ran last of four in a trial at Geelong in January 2018. But as her experience and the distances increased the New Zealandbre­d daughter of 2012 Cox Plate winner Ocean Park started to thrive.

Price, who now co-trains with Michael Kent Jr, hopes Oceanex can surge to a surprise victory and be a life-changer for the good folk at Bonbeach.

Oceanex is a $67 Melbourne Cup roughie and it would be a surprise if she could win the big dance, but stranger things have happened.

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