Opie Aiming for More Millions

Date: 22 Jan 2022

Opie Aiming for More Millions


NZ Herald's Michael Guerin reports:


For the King of the Karaka Million, patience is the key.

That may sound counterintuitive because the signature $1 million race at tonight's mega meeting at Ellerslie is a dash for cash lasting around 110 seconds.

But champion jockey Opie Bosson has won his last four Karaka Millions and says to capture the glamour race you have to know when not to push the button.

Bosson has won the juvenile event four times and the equally valuable Karaka Classic Mile on Probabeel, but never led early in any of those races, preferring to wait and pounce.

"People might think with the two-year-old race being 1200m you have to get out and go but the faster but weaker horses don't win it," he told the Herald.

"The winners are usually the ones who hit the line hardest rather than the ones who lead and hold on.

"It is a hard run 1200m for these horses and it is still quite early in the season so I prefer to settle and then ask them to wind up and sprint once."

Walking the million-dollar tightrope between being too early or too late, how does Bosson know when to make his move?

"It is mainly feel," he says.

"I don't worry too much about what is going on around me or what point of the race we are at.

"I just want the horse travelling well and then you rely on your gut to tell you when it is time to get going."

That gut instinct will be carrying millions of dollars of punters and owners' money tonight with Bosson on the favourite Dynastic in the two-year-old race and an even hotter favourite On The Bubbles in the three-year-old.

Dynastic has only had one start and was beaten but Bosson likes what he felt.

"I want to be just off the speed with him, balance up and ask him to go at the 300m and then we will see."

In a race of genuine top-end depth if horse or rider gets it wrong then Wolverine, Fellini or a range of others could make them pay.

On The Bubbles was a goof at the trials last week but Bosson has ridden him in trackwork this week and says he will switch back on, making him the deserved shortest priced favourite of the night.

Bosson will also switch on for his favourite night of the racing year but not before his more sedate morning ritual.

"I will get up and feed our 220 cows we have here at the farm and then I will have a bath to help with my weight," he says.

Then comes the only time all day Bosson will get uncomfortable.

"I can get a bit pacy at home just before I leave but once I am in the car I start going through the races in my head and I dial in.

"This is the meeting I look forward to the most, especially because it is also our son Max's birthday. He turns three."

Once again, Bosson's timing could be perfect.


What: New Zealand thoroughbred racing's glamour meeting.
Where: Ellerslie, Auckland.
When: First race 4.29pm today.
The action: Six races worth a total of $2.48 million.
Tickets: Most hospitality sold out but general admission available. Must have vaccination pass.


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