Daily News Archive
Daily News Subscription
Emperor Shows Class With Comeback Win
Matamata trainer Gary Hennessy believes he has a horse that can once again take him to racing's highest heights, reports NZ Racing Desk. Hennessy, who was thrust into the limelight as the conditioner of five-time Gr1 winner Ocean Park, produced a masterful training performance to see Ocean Emperor (Zabeel-Tootsie, by Pins) return from more than 18 months off the scene to score impressively at New Plymouth on Friday. Ocean Emperor went to the line hard-held when notching his third career victory from just seven starts in a Rating 75 event over 1200m. "We always knew he had great ability, but the way he won on Friday opened another dimension to him," Hennessy said. "There was a lot of relief and elation too after such an extended period on the sidelines." He added: "He got an infection in his foot and had to have half his hoof cut out up to the coronet, and it has taken time to grow down," Hennessy said. Hennessy owns Ocean Emperor with Hong Kong partners Andrew Wong and Steve Yang, the same trio that raced Cox Plate winner Ocean Park. "He really is a drop dead gorgeous horse," Hennessy said. "He has a very good pedigree. We bought him hoping to follow the same path as Ocean Park and who knows, he might just get there." Hennessy said the Gr2 Easter Stakes (1600m) at Ellerslie on 22 April was a possible target for Ocean Emperor.