Multiple Group 1 Winner Ocean Park To Ride Wave Of Success In Dubai

Dubai Duty Free Could Prove Royal Ascot Launching Pad For Hennessy’s Star Galloper

It is safe to say that New Zealand trainer Gary Hennessy was not a household name in the world of racing until the Spring Carnival in Melbourne last year.

Yet Hennessy, who has a team of only 10 horses in work at Matamata, has known for some time he was ready to be a major player on the international scene.

He is a cousin of famed New Zealand trainer Dave O’Sullivan who has two sons - Paul, a successful trainer in Hong Kong, and Lance, a former top jockey whose riding career was cut short by injury.

O’Sullivan had already gained a reputation of being a sound judge of horses good enough to race overseas.
‘’I sold a horse called Makarpura Star to (Hong Kong trainer) John Moore a few years ago who won the Hong Kong Derby and also became Horse Of The Year,” said Hennessy.

He paid NZ$150,000 for Ocean Park, who is by the former smart Australian racehorse Thorn Park from the Zabeel mare Sayyida, on behalf of two Hong Kong clients Andrew Wong and Steven Yan.

The four-year-old has now won in excess of NZ$2.2 million and Hennessy is enthusiastic about adding the US$5 million Dubai Duty Free (1800m) sponsored by Dubai Duty Free, to his record.

Ocean Park’s record stands at eight wins, three seconds and a third from 14 starts and Hennessy is confident he has the breeding and conformation to be a successful stallion.

‘’He is a lovely, athletic horse and throws to the dam’s side of his pedigree,’’ Hennessy said.

‘’If he’s going to be the horse I think he can be, he needs to win in the Northern Hemisphere and a five million dollar race in Dubai is a great place to start.’’

‘’It is just unbelievable being in Dubai and if things go to plan we’re looking at taking him to Royal Ascot later in the year,’’ Hennessy said at Meydan this morning.