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Dave O'Sullivan

Champion trainer of 11 premierships - producing a racing dynasty ...more

The only apprentice to salute the judge before a young Queen Elizabeth at the Royal Ellerslie meeting of 1953 – not a bad win, either: the Railway Handicap on Te Awa – O’Sullivan rode for less than a decade (125 winners) before weight problems forced him out. Setting up as a trainer at Matamata, he first became known as a successful mentor of apprentices. Roger Lang, Peter Johnson, Shane Dye and eventually his son Lance were just some of the top riders who came from the stable. Equine winners also came off the property in a steadily expanding stream until (ultimately in partnership with his son Paul) O’Sullivan found a regular place at the top of trainers’ list. Dave O’Sullivan retired in 1998 with a lifetime tally of 1877 wins (at present the New Zealand record), 1613 in partnership with Paul. Dave won the premiership on his own in 1978-79, another 10 titles in partnership with Paul. Oopik, Golden Rhapsody, Sharivari, Waverley Star, Paul De Brett, La Souvronne, Blue Denim, Mapperley Heights and champion mare Horlicks were among the many Group One performers to wear the O’Sullivan polish.

Dave O'Sullivan is proudly sponsored by TRAC racing consortium which consists of the racing clubs in the Bay of Plenty, Taupo, Te Aroha and Matamata regions.


Australasia's record breaking champion mare and producer ...more

40 starts, 17 wins (six at Group One), 10 seconds, 2 thirds. NZ$3,411,682, A$625,000

Horlicks, by Three Legs out of Malt, won 17 of her 40 starts, chalking up six Group One victories in three countries. She won both the million-dollar DB Draught Classic and the New Zealand Stakes twice.

In the spring of 1989 she won the weight-for-age Mackinnon Stakes at Flemington and followed it up three weeks later with a win in the $3 million Japan Cup (2400m) in world record time for trainers Dave and Paul O'Sullivan.

She was retired from racing the following year, with career earnings of $A3.2 million.

A super  mare on the track, Horlicks later became a very successful broodmare. At stud she left 13 foals with Brew, the winner of the Melbourne Cup in 2000, the most notable. One of her daughters, Latte, produced the 2007 AJC Australian Derby winner Fiumicino

Horlicks died peacefully at Cambridge stud in August 2011 and is buried at her owner breeder Graham de Gruchy’s Hawke’s Bay property.

Lance O'Sullivan

NZ's most successful championship winning jockey ...more

At the end of the 2002-03 season, Lance O’Sullivan retired from race riding at the top (three winners at Tauranga from his last three rides) and with every record in New Zealand flat racing safely in his saddle bags. With a New Zealand tally of 2358 he held the record of wins by a New Zealand jockey – and that was without adding the wins in Australia, Hong Kong, Japan, Macau, Singapore and, yep, one in Turkey which brought his lifetime tally to 2479. In 2001-02 he rode 193 winners to reclaim the New Zealand record for wins in a season which a young Michael Walker had briefly taken from him the season before. O’Sullivan retired with 12 New Zealand premierships to his credit, having broken Bill Broughton’s long-standing record of 11 premierships. All of these records placed O’Sullivan firmly at the head of his profession at the time of his retirement. What makes them a testament to character, professionalism and determination as much to innate ability is that they were achieved – or at least completed – after a horrendous race fall at Moonee Valley in which O’Sullivan’s left leg was so badly smashed that it took three years, three operations and unguessable grinding pain before he could return to race riding in 1998-99. O’Sullivan was born on August 28 1963 into a racing family. His father Dave, a good journeyman jockey who became a champion trainer, was followed into a training partnership by Lance’s brother Paul; Lance rode 181 winners while apprenticed to his father. Over two decades the O’Sullivan trio – trainers and jockey – became the most formidable team in New Zealand’s racing history. Lance won 50 Group One races, perhaps his most memorable being the 1989 Japan Cup on Horlicks, the W.S.Cox Plate on Surfers Paradise and that remarkable third ARC Railway Handicap win on Mr Tiz, on whom he won six Group Ones. Since his retirement from the saddle, Lance O’Sullivan has seamlessly turned his talents to training.

Lance O'Sullivan is sponsored by Highview Stud. Highview Stud stands an excellent line up of stallions including exciting young sires - Johar, Align and Danbird, and well established sire - Kashani. Highview welcomes your enquiries. Please phone Brent Gillovic on 07-825-2649.