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Owners have rejected some healthy offers for Oxley Road who will continue to race in Australia

Singapore-based New Zealand trainer Stephen Gray has a happy knack of landing a good horse, but he may have unearthed his best yet in Oxley Road who chases a third straight win when he runs at Flemington.

Oxley Road contests the Listed Incognitus Stakes (1100m) on Saturday for which he is TAB’s $3.10 favourite.

Gray described Oxley Road, a brother to Group 1 winner Exceedance, as “backward” when purchased as a yearling on the Gold Coast and elected to send him home to New Zealand to develop with the intention of racing in Singapore.

COVID-19 ended those plans and instead Oxley Road headed to Australia and Peter Moody.

“He needed to catch up a bit and I have a system in place in New Zealand,” Gray said.

“He was well looked and he caught up, but we didn’t rush, trialled him, just before COVID.

“They thought he was a very nice horse, possibly too good for Singapore, so all the partners picked out Peter Moody.

“He was starting out again and we felt Peter would be the ideal trainer to do the job.”

The job has been perfect to date, with a maiden win at Flemington followed by success in the Group 3 Zeditave Stakes (1200m) at Caulfield on February 20.

After those victories, Gray said offers arrived from Hong Kong and several studs to buy the colt, but Oxley Road will continue racing for the foreseeable future, unless an offer came that was too hard to ignore.

“The partners are having too much fun and they want to enjoy the horse,” Gray said.

“Some had dreams of winning a race at Flemington, let alone a group race at Caulfield with the hope of maybe a few more.

“And it’s good to see our colours being successful over there.”

Written by Craig Brennan

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