Written by Paul Vettise
Gary Hennessy would love nothing more than to see Ocean Emperor (NZ) (Zabeel) get his chance at stud, but in the meantime he’s eyeing off a number of rich racing options for his in-form 7-year-old.
The Matamata horseman’s immediate focus is on Saturday’s G1 Rydges Captain Cook S. at Trentham and recent developments in Australia have also got him interested in a possible crossing of the Tasman.
“To get a Group 1 would be the ultimate and I think he deserves his chance at stud, but the way the breeding industry is here and after the Ready to Run Sale nobody might want to take on a stallion,” Hennessy said.
“We’ve got a dozen mares to support him but I don’t really want to do it myself, it’s a lot of hard work.” - Gary Hennessy.
“We’ve got a dozen mares to support him but I don’t really want to do it myself, it’s a lot of hard work.
“Hopefully, there are a few well-established studs where he could find a home, but when you can race for five and eight million dollars it’s easy to race on.”
Hennessy said he will reassess the situation after the Captain Cook on Saturday.
“I don’t want to stretch him out to 2000 metres at this stage so I could keep him ticking over for Otaki (for the G1 Haunui Farm WFA Classic).
“We could take him to Melbourne and try and get a win there and maybe get into the All-Star Mile.” - Gary Hennessy.
“We could take him to Melbourne and try and get a win there and maybe get into the All-Star Mile.”
Ocean Emperor is trained by Hennessy, who races him with Andrew Wong and Stephen Yan, the same trio that enjoyed so much success with the former New Zealand Horse of the Year and G1 Cox Plate winner Ocean Park (NZ) (Thorn Park).
He is now resident at Waikato Stud and Ocean Emperor was purchased out of their 2013 Premier Sale line-up at Karaka for $NZ450,000.
He is a son of the G3 Mannerism S. winner Tootsie (NZ) (Pins), a sister to the G2 Thousand Guineas Prelude winner Legless Veuve (NZ), who is a half-sister to the dam of the G1 Livamol Classic S. and G1 New Zealand Oaks winner Savvy Coup (NZ) (Savabeel).
Ocean Emperor has won nine races, including three at Group 2 level with the most recent the Tauranga S. at his latest appearance.
He will strive to go to another level on Saturday at Trentham where his versatility will be tested by the prospect of rain-affected going.
“He’s a better horse on good ground, but he can slog it out if he has to.” - Gary Hennessy.
“He’s a better horse on good ground, but he can slog it out if he has to,” Hennessy said.
“There’s probably going to be 90 per cent of them that don’t want it wet. He’s got that up his sleeve and he’s ticking over well.
“I couldn’t be more pleased with him and he’ll strip a pretty fit horse.”
Ocean Emperor will be ridden by Rosie Myers, who guided him to victory in an open handicap under 60.5kg at Awapuni two runs back.