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Bobbin’s Flemington milestone as Ocean Beyond takes Straight Six

20 May 2022 Written by VRC

Former rugby league player and television producer Andrew Bobbin scored a fairytale first Flemington winner - and a maiden stakes winner, no less - when Ocean Beyond scored a shock victory in the Listed Hilton Nicholas Straight Six (1200m) this afternoon.

Sent out as a $26 chance in an open field of 16, the consistent Ocean Beyond came with a well-timed late run under Linda Meech to score by a long neck over outsiders Crestani and On The Lead.

In what was a typically competitive straight race, a length separated the first six across the line while the first 10 were covered by just two lengths.

Bobbin, who played one first grade match for the St George Illawarra Dragons in 2001 before travelling the world for a decade as a cameraman and producer for CNN, has only been training for 18 months but has quickly ticked off one career ambition after Ocean Beyond’s success.

“This is what I always wanted to do and to win one here is certainly a highlight," Bobbin said. “We’re doing things differently on the farm so we’re learning every day but things are going well. The two-year-old filly in the earlier race, we bought her for nothing and nearly won there, we had a winner at Warracknabeal about an hour ago so we’re heading in the right direction.”

That filly, $4,000 purchase Anphina, finished a narrow second to Brosnan in the Donate @ njt.org.au Handicap (1400m) at what was just the fledgling trainer's second runner at Flemington.

His third, Ocean Beyond, will be one he will never forget, with the four-year-old having only joined his stable in recent months.

"He showed plenty of promise early," Bobbin said. "Once he came to our place he’s just thriving in the country environment. He looks like a mountain goat, he’s that woolly and rough looking, but he lives outside in a yard and clearly it’s working.”

It was also a first Flemington stakes winner for Meech since 2019, marking her return to big-race glory at headquarters after giving birth to son Anthony early last year. She was full of praise for Bobbin and his operation, Grampians Racing.

“It’s a great feeling to win for him," she said. "He’s young, he’s on the way up, he’s so positive. He’s a joy and a pleasure to ride for.

"I’ve been to his farm a couple of times, the way he’s turned it around in the last 12 months is unreal. It’s got to be seen to be believed, what he’s doing.”

With his win in the Hilton Nicholas Straight Six, the third leg of the Santa Ana Lane Sprint Series, Ocean Beyond earns a berth in the series final on Flemington Finals Day on Saturday 2 July.

Bobbin confirmed that Ocean Beyond would head to the $160,000 Listed Santa Ana Lane Sprint Series Final (1200m) through the series' fifth leg, the $150,000 Golden Topaz (1200m) at Swan Hill on Friday 10 June.

Image caption: Andrew Bobbin celebrates his first Flemington winner and first stakes winner with Ocean Beyond in the Hilton Nicholas Straight Six.

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