Champion jockey Opie Bosson has been lamenting a costly decision for the past six weeks but he's looking forward to setting the record straight at Pukekohe on Saturday.
Faced with the choice between the Mark Walker-trained two-year-olds Tokyo Tycoon and Trobriand for January's Karaka Million 2YO (1200m), Bosson went against his better judgement and sided with the youngster with the better draw.
That was Trobriand, who ran a terrific race but was no match for his stablemate who went flying by late to snare the major spoils for South African jockey Craig Zackey.
"I've thought about it a fair bit since and I just should have gone with my gut-instinct," Bosson said.
"I don't normally worry about draws. It was a bad mistake on my part."
Despite the ease of Tokyo Tycoon's Karaka Million win, Bosson again sided with Trobriand for last month's Gr.3 Matamata Slipper (1200m) and was again left to rue his choice.
"Last start I thought I was travelling well on Trobriand and next thing Tokyo Tycoon came past so fast that it felt like someone pulled a parachute on mine," Bosson said.
Bosson gets to reunite with Tokyo Tycoon for Saturday's Gr.1 Sistema Stakes (1200m) at Pukekohe, a race in which he is expected to extend his unbeaten record to five.
"Mark has told me has come on since his Matamata win too. He's quite an exciting horse. Mark thinks he could be the real deal," Bosson said.
"He should be extremely hard to beat. It's not a big field and he's beaten most of those horses before so I can't see why he can't do it again."
Tokyo Tycoon has drawn perfectly in barrier three for the Sistema Stakes, a race Bosson has won nine times already and now provides an opportunity for him to become the first jockey to win a New Zealand Group One race on 10 occasions.
"I've always just been lucky enough to be on the right two-year-old at the right time,” he said. “I've got pretty fond memories of Sword Of State's win. He just dominated. And Cool Aza Beel was great too. Unfortunately we never got to see the best of him."
Bosson will hunt his seventh win in the Gr.1 Bonecrusher New Zealand Stakes (2050m) later on the Pukekohe programme when he rides the Walker-trained Campionessa, a last-start runner-up to subsequent Gr.1 New Zealand Derby (2400m) winner Sharp 'N' Smart in the Gr.1 Herbie Dyke Stakes (2000m) at Te Rapa last month.
"She went down to a very good horse last start so I can't see why she won't be right in the mix again this time," Bosson said.
"She just keeps improving. She used to be quite a handful but now she's turned into a real racehorse. It's really only this season that she's gone through the grades and she's kept improving and stepping up to each new challenge.
"She’s a definite top-four chance. The three-year-old filly (Prowess) comes in on a light weight (52kg) but it still won't be that easy for her in the weight-for-age ranks and La Crique looks like she's looking for 2000m now.
"It's a good field but she could win it, for sure."
Bosson has picked up the ride on Lincoln King for Cambridge trainer Stephen Marsh in the Gr.2 Barfoot & Thompson Auckland Cup (3200m).
"I'm quite excited to be riding him. He's been hitting the line well in his last few runs and stepping back up to two miles will be ideal,” he said.
Among his other rides are Dragon Queen in the Royal Descent Stakes (1600m), Amalfi Prince, Insatiable, It's Business Time and Humboldt.
"Dragon Queen won quite nicely last start in a similar type of race so she's got the form on the board," Bosson said.
"Insatiable can really gallop and he seems to be going the right way since his last win in a race where the form is stacking up quite well from behind him.
"I really enjoy Auckland Cup week and over the years it's been pretty good to me. It's good to get those wins with the good prizemoney up."