He dominated the Melbourne Spring Carnival and New Zealand superstar Ocean Park will get the chance to show the rest of the world how good he is this weekend in the $US5 million Dubai Duty Free (1800m) at Meydan.
The future stallion has settled in well to Dubai since arriving a week ago, leaving trainer Gary Hennessy confident he can build on his already remarkable accomplishments in Australia and New Zealand.
“All signs look good, he has settled in well as we expected him to and he has really surprised everyone by just how relaxed he is,” Hennessy told New Zealand Bloodstock.
Hennessy, a part-owner in the multiple Group 1 winner, pencilled in the race as a major goal following his outstanding spring and takes confidence from the comments of trackwork rider Kate Hercock.
“In the spring, the Cox Plate was our goal…since then our goal has been the Dubai Duty Free,” Hennessy said.
“Katie’s comments [are] he is working like a ticking time bomb, which mirrors Glen Boss’s comments when we were heading into the Cox Plate.”
Ocean Park has had two runs leading into the lucrative Dubai target, finishing fourth first-up before thrashing his rivals in the Group 1 New Zealand Stakes at Ellerslie on March 9.
The Dubai Duty Free is the start of an international expedition for Ocean Park who will contest the Queen Anne Stakes at Royal Ascot in June and October’s Champion Stakes at The Curragh in Ireland.
The Dubai Duty Free is set to jump at 3:40am (AEDT) Sunday and forms part of the Dubai World Cup night program which offers $US27.5 million in prizemoney across nine races.