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OCEAN OF CHAMPAGNE. 04 March 2004. Arkadian Hero-Champagne Grandy. Owner-Ian Ender.

Ocean Of Champagne is out of the very tough mare Champagne Grandy, who raced 60 times for the Mick Channon yard, between 1992-1996,winning on nine occasions, over six, and seven furlongs, and achieving a career high mark of 84.She is from the first crop of the high class sprinter Arkadian Hero,who was trained by Luca Cumani.

'Ocean' only raced 12 times,starting her career in the hands of the very capable Alan Dickman, who left no stone upturned, making sure the filly had everything she needed, to bring out the best in her. but I can honestly say she was any owners worst nightmare. Things got off to a wonderful start, on May 30th, 2006 at Redcar, in a two year old fillies only maiden over six furlongs, where after a very sluggish start, she made good late headway to finish fifth of the 15, beaten by four and a half lengths, under Danny Tudhope. We went up to Hamilton three weeks later full of confidence that she would be competitive, but after being slowly away again, she was soon being driven, and was never out of last place.At Pontefract in July, she fared a little better over their six furlongs, but weakened away from a furlong out, with Paul Hanagan reporting back, that he thought the horse was still very green.Her final race as a two year old was on the heavy ground at Ayr in October, from a very good looking mark of only 56, she went off at 20/1, and I had the biggest bet of my life on her, more in hope than expectation. We had booked Silvestre De Sousa to ride, this was back in the days before he had become popular, but he was already as strong as an Ox.She wasn't the most willing of partners, but Silvestre made up her mind for her, and drove her right to the line, only finding one two good, if I remember rightly, I broke about even on my each way bet.

She made her return in April 2007, as a three year old, on the sand at Southwell, under Michael Stainton, where she hung badly up the straight, not looking at all keen.A month later she returned to the turf at Carlisle, showing a little more, by staying on up the hill, but still beaten by seven lengths.She was back at Carlisle two weeks later, for her first attempt over seven furlongs, once again blowing the start, and never getting involved.Her final start for Alan Dickman was in a seller at Catterick in July, but by now it was quite obvious from her performance, she had lost all interest in racing.In one final attempt to try to get her to repeat the form of her debut, I moved her from the Alan Dickman yard to Micky Hammond, because sometimes a change of scenery can rekindle a horses interest, but in two more attempts on the flat, and a go over the jumps at Cartmel, where Graham Lee had to show all of his experience just to stay in the saddle, I finally saw sense and decided to call it a day. I call her an owners worst nightmare, because she promised so much, but never delivered. On her debut at Redcar, she ran like a horse with a real future, but in every attempt after, she either wouldn't, or couldn't. The trick is to know when it's the right time to call it a day, but we can all be very clever with hindsight.

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