Racing: Hennessy might opt for Kiwi jockey

Ocean Park (left) pictured beating All Too Hard in the Cox Plate last month is preparing for an international campaign. Photo / Getty Images
Ocean Park (left) pictured beating All Too Hard in the Cox Plate last month is preparing for an international campaign. Photo / Getty Images

Victorian jockey Glen Boss is no certainty to retain the ride on Ocean Park when the Matamata galloper embarks on an international campaign next year, with trainer Gary Hennessy considering Kiwi jockeys.

The dust has barely settled on Ocean Park's spectacular spring carnival, which netted four straight group one wins, including the Cox Plate, but plans are already in motion for an overseas odyssey that will include a trip to Dubai on World Cup Night and England's Royal Ascot.

With Ocean Park's status as a future stallion already secured in Australasia, Hennessy, a part-owner, is keen to promote his brilliant galloper to the Northern Hemisphere, opening up the possibility of becoming a shuttle-stallion.

Boss, who rode Ocean Park in all four runs in Melbourne, will be thrown into the mix on a list that will also include Kiwi jockeys Opie Bosson, Leith Innes and Lisa Allpress among others.

"We've got a few good riders in New Zealand at the moment and they could do the job if required," Hennessy told the Herald Sun. "A decision hasn't been made yet but we have a few options."

The US$5 million Dubai Duty Free (1800m), to be run on March 30, will be Ocean Park's main goal, with a start in Australia first-up to kick off the campaign.

"His win in the Underwood Stakes was second-up and we will look to replicate that when we go to Dubai," Hennessy said.

"I'm not too sure where his first start will be, ideally over 1400m in Australia.

"Dubai is the main aim, that is where we want him to be at his peak.

"The race is worth $5 million so it is enticing."

Hennessy is also keen to race at Royal Ascot with the Queen Anne Stakes (1609m) or Prince Of Wales Stakes (2012m), which was won by So You Think last year, his targets.

"While the prizemoney is far more rewarding in Hong Kong and Australia, the prestige that comes with winning European group races is worth travelling for," he said.

- NZ Herald

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