Fresh from riding Imperatriz to Group One success in Australia last weekend, Opie Bosson will be out to add another elite-level victory to his record at Awapuni on Saturday, when he partners Trobriand for Mark Walker in the Gr.1 Courtesy Ford Manawatu Sires' Produce Stakes (1400m).
After three wins in succession to start his career, Trobriand has played second-fiddle to unbeaten stablemate Tokyo Tycoon in his past two outings.
The son of Kermadec finished third in the Karaka Million 2YO (1200m) and was runner-up in the Gr.3 Matamata Slipper (1200m).
With Tokyo Tycoon enjoying time in the spelling paddock, Trobriand is the $1.90 favourite for Saturday’s contest and Bosson is pleased with how the colt has progressed between runs.
A winner of a 1000m trial at Taupo last week, Trobriand led and extended when asked.
“I rode him at Taupo trials the other day and he’s actually strengthened up,” Bosson said.
“He’s a bit thicker in the neck, he felt great and he won his trial quite easily.
“The blinkers will go on for race day and he'll be a different horse, but I am very happy with him.”
The star hoop will also ride Brando in the Gr.2 City Of Palmerston North Awapuni Gold Cup (2000m) and Humboldt in the Gr.3 Higgins Concrete Manawatu Classic (2000m), with the former a strong winner of the Gr.2 Japan Trophy (1600m) last Saturday.
Bosson will be out of action until April 12 after Saturday’s feature meeting after pleading guilty to a careless riding charge when successful on Imperatriz in the Gr.1 William Reid Stakes (1200m) at The Valley last Friday night.
The five-time Group One winning mare provided Bosson with the 91st Group One win of his career, with 11 coming in Australia.
“She’s one of the best I’ve ridden,” Bosson said. “It was just good to get the Group One win for her in Australia.
“It was a bit messy early, there was a little bit of interference in front of me with Nash Rawiller, he went in and squeezed a couple up, but I ended up getting onto his back and got a uninterrupted run the whole way.
“It's not an easy track to ride, Moonee Valley, I managed to track into the race quite nicely and I got into a little bit of trouble turning for home when I rolled in on one that I got suspended for but she did the rest for me.
“It’s awesome to get back to Australia and ride in those races and to pull one off is even better.”
With Imperatriz now bound for the spelling paddock, Bosson praised the Te Akau team and trainer Mark Walker, believing the star mare was at the top of her game this campaign after an in-and-out spring.
“She feels a lot freer in her action nowadays, but I think the heavy tracks did get to her in the spring. Mark’s worked her out now, he’s doing an amazing job with her,” Bosson said.
42-year-old Bosson surpassed the likes of Roy Higgins and Glen Boss in terms of Group One wins and he has the hunger for more in the coming years.
“It’s quite unreal really when you see some of those big names that I’ve passed,” Bosson said.
“I just hope that I get to 100 and then see how I'm going and maybe get to 104 to beat or equal Jimmy Cassidy.”