Hen­nessy’s trav­els con­tinue

Taranaki Daily News - - Racing -

Gary Hen­nessy is prepar­ing for an­other in­ter­na­tional tour of duty.

The Mata­mata trainer has his sights set on a Sin­ga­pore Group One fea­ture af­ter re­ceiv­ing con­fir­ma­tion that Ocean Em­peror has gained a spot in the Kranji Mile (1600m) on May 26.

Hen­nessy has a proven over­seas track record hav­ing pre­pared Ocean Park for Group One wins in the Cox Plate (2040m), Caulfield Stakes (2000m) and the Un­der­wood Stakes (1800m).

Also suc­cess­ful in the Gr.1 New Zealand Stakes (2000m) and the Gr.1 Makfi Chal­lenge Stakes (1400m), the 2012-13 New Zealand Horse of the Year was raced by Hen­nessy with An­drew Wong and Steve Yan. They also share in the own­er­ship of Ocean Em­peror, a $450,000 Karaka year­ling pur­chase out of the 2013 Premier Sale draft of Waikato Stud, now the home of Ocean Park.

‘‘It’s go­ing to be ter­rific to be part of it,’’ Hen­nessy said. ‘‘We’ve done it be­fore so we know what’s re­quired.’’

A son of Zabeel and the Group One per­former Toot­sie, Ocean Em­peror has won seven races in­clud­ing a de­feat of sub­se­quent Group One win­ner Miss Wil­son and the seven-time top-flight win­ner Kawi in the Gr.2 Tau­ranga Stakes (1600m).

At his most re­cent per­for­mance, the six-year-old downed mul­ti­ple stakes placeget­ter Tip­tronic and the Group One per­former Trav­imyfriend in the Gr.2 Japan/ New Zealand In­ter­na­tional Tro­phy (1600m).

‘‘He’s pretty solid in con­di­tion, I’m re­ally pleased with him,’’ Hen­nessy said. ‘‘He’s been on the tread­mill most days since.’’

He is now look­ing at his op­tions to have Ocean Em­peror in prime or­der for the trip to Sin­ga­pore.

‘‘He’s won well fresh be­fore and there are the Te Teko tri­als at the end of the month and there’s a race meet­ing here at Mata­mata so he could gal­lop be­tween races as well,’’ Hen­nessy said.

PHOTO: SUP­PLIED

Ocean Em­peror with trainer Gary Hen­nessy is bound for Sin­ga­pore.

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