Among the familiar faces at Karaka in the last week has been the cheeky grin of former leading New Zealand trainer Paul O’Sullivan.
An 11-time champion trainer in NZ, O’Sullivan has been based in Hong Kong for nine years and he returned home for an annual week-long working holiday with his brother Lance and bloodstock consultant Robbie Hewetson.
O’Sullivan has enjoyed plenty of success in Hong Kong with horses the calibre of G1 Hong Kong Derby winner Vital King and G1 Stewards Cup winner Fellowship, however, it’s the quality of the new blood that provides the impetus for growth or even just sustainability during a bad patch.
O’Sullivan is currently rebuilding his Hong Kong operation after a lean spell. “We’ve had a tough twelve months where a lot of things went wrong or we just had plain bad luck which was pretty frustrating,” said O’Sullivan. “Thankfully we have come right this season with 14 winners to date which puts me about mid-table on the premiership.
“I have about 40 horses in work which is a bit light as we would like to have around the 60 mark, however, I think we can increase our numbers to that optimal level.”
O’Sullivan was active purchasing six colts at the Premier and Select Sales as well as seven fillies who will do their racing with Matamata based trainer Andrew Scott.