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Time called on Ocean Emperor’s career

Three-time Group Two winner Ocean Emperor has been retired from racing and is about to embark on a stud career.

“He’s not going to race again, and now I’m looking for a home for him to stand at stud,” trainer and part-owner Gary Hennessy said.

By Zabeel out of the Group One-placed Pins mare Tootsie, Ocean Emperor was a $450,000 yearling purchase at Karaka.

He was raced by Hennessy in partnership with Andrew Wong and Stephen Yan – the same team that owned the Gr.1 Cox Plate (2040m) winner, Horse of the Year and now Waikato Stud stallion Ocean Park.

Ocean Emperor  had 28 starts for nine wins and five placings, headed by the Gr.2 Japan-NZ International Trophy (1600m) and back-to-back editions of the Gr.2 Tauranga Stakes (1600m). He contested last year’s Kranji Mile (1600m) in Singapore, finishing seventh.

The seven-year-old’s final start was a fourth placing in the Gr.1 Captain Cook Stakes (1600m) at Trentham last December.

“He’s a beautifully bred horse and had a massive amount of ability,” Hennessy said. “In his two Tauranga Stakes wins, the horses that finished second to him (Miss Wilson and Nicoletta) went on to win the Gr.1 New Zealand Thoroughbred Breeders’ Stakes (1600m) at Te Aroha later in that same season. He really was a top-class horse.”

Hennessy plans to support Ocean Emperor with some quality broodmares of his own.

“We’ve got a really nice band of mares at the moment and it would be good to send them to Ocean Emperor,” he said.

“The standout among them would have to be Alberton Princess, the dam of Brutal (Gr.1 Doncaster Handicap (1600m) winner). We’ve also got a three-quarter sister as well, which is exciting. It’s a great family.”

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