IN Racing
Group One success for undefeated Tokyo Tycoon
Leading rider Opie Bosson brought up a special milestone at Pukekohe on Saturday when outstanding juvenile Tokyo Tycoon provided him with his tenth win in the Gr.1 Sistema Stakes (1200m).
NZ Racing Desk | March 11, 2023
Photo: Kirstin Ledington

Leading rider Opie Bosson brought up a special milestone at Pukekohe on Saturday when outstanding juvenile Tokyo Tycoon provided him with his tenth win in the Gr.1 Sistema Stakes (1200m).

Most jockeys strive to capture one win at the highest echelon during their careers but Bosson, who now has 90 Group One wins to his name, has made this race his own and provided another masterclass on the striking son of boom young Deep Impact stallion Satono Aladdin.

Trainer Mark Walker had Tokyo Tycoon in prime condition as he looked to extend his unbeaten record to five, this time for Bosson who replaced South African jockey Craig Zackey who has headed back to his homeland after guiding Tokyo Tycoon to his last two victories.

Tokyo Tycoon was positioned much closer than in recent runs, sitting outside pacemaker Ulanova throughout, before issuing his challenge with 300m to run.

After a brief tussle with Ulanova, the eventual runner-up, Tokyo Tycoon soon asserted his superiority to record a two and a half-length victory for owners, the Meadowbank Masters Racing Partnership and Te Akau Satono Samurai Racing Partnership.

Tulsi closed well for third in a race run in a sedate 1.10.89, while second-favourite Ethereal Star had no luck finishing fifth, unable to be ridden out with a badly slipped saddle.

Walker was quick to praise both horse and rider after an effortless elite-level win.

“I was a bit surprised he jumped and put himself so close today, but he travelled so good and Opie just sat and waited,” Walker said.

“He loafed a little bit, but he just goes out there and knows what his job is.

“He is real workmanlike and didn’t cost a fortune either and shows anyone can be involved, in fact we still had shares available in him in June last year. He was our last horse to sell that year.”

Tokyo Tycoon was purchased as a yearling by Te Akau principal David Ellis in March last year at the Karaka Book 1 Sale, paying $125,000 for the then colt from the draft of Rich Hill Stud.

Walker is still trying to work out whether to continue on with the current campaign for his charge.

“You just don’t know with him as you can only beat your opposition on the day,” he said.

“We will see how he pulls up and we will work out a plan on Monday.

“We just want to let the dust settle, see how he eats although he always does eat up and then we will make a plan from there.” 

Bosson was his usual understated self when questioned about the performance and his record in the race.

“This race has been good to me and to Te Akau Racing over the years,” he said.

“He (Tokyo Tycoon) actually made me feel nervous going out there, but he is a top horse and when he jumped out of the barriers, I felt like there was only two of us in the race.

“I was worried for about five strides when we tackled Ulanova, but once he changed leg, he quickened up nicely.

“I think he is right up there as he is untapped and just so laid back. He goes out there and just feels like he is going to go to sleep.”

The win was another boost for Rich Hill Stud shuttle stallion Satono Aladdin, who won the highest rated mile in Japan, the Gr.1 Yasuda Kinen (1600m) running an incredible 1:31.5 and has proved hugely popular amongst New Zealand breeders, with Tokyo Tycoon becoming his first Group One winner from just his second Southern hemisphere crop.

Craig Zackey David Ellis Deep Impact Gr.1 Sistema Stakes Mark Walker Opie Bosson Pukekohe Satono Aladdin Te Akau Tokyo Tycoon Tulsi Ulanova