Opie Ready to Show Who's Boss

Date: 15 Nov 2021

Opie Ready to Show Who's Boss


NZ Herald's Michael Guerin reports:


Coming from any other jockey, this would sound arrogant, bordering on the ridiculous.

Coming from Opie Bosson, it sounds like a warning.

New Zealand's superstar rider turned Cup week at Riccarton into his own private comeback party, winning four feature races, including the 1000 and 2000 Guineas, in his first serious week of riding in months.

Yet Bosson says he is nowhere near his peak.

"I think I'm riding at about 80 per cent," he told the Herald. "I haven't been riding enough to be at my best and my timing isn't quite there yet.

"To really be in the zone, I have to be riding a lot.

"When I'm riding a lot and riding good horses, and on good tracks always helps, sometimes I can feel I'm really riding well.

"But I'm definitely not there at the moment. I was lucky enough to just be on some very good horses who could win."



Considering none of Noverre (2000 Guineas), Summer Monsoon (Stewards), Markus Aurelius (Couplands Mile) or The Perfect Pink, who won Saturday's 1000 Guineas, were considered good things going into their races, Bosson's suggestion the horses maketh the man comes with a healthy coating of modesty.



But the belief Bosson can get better this summer is a scary thought for rivals.

Not only does he have the equine firepower of Te Akau and Jamie Richards behind him, but he is considerably lighter than usual, thanks to a strict training programme since a frustrating time in Auckland lockdown, even though Bosson lives a long way from Auckland.

"Back when I was in lockdown, it was tough, because you can't see an end in sight and I was starting to wonder what I was going to aim at.

"So to be back out there and have this week go so well was pretty rewarding.

''I think everybody could see I was emotional after Noverre's win."

There are other emotions, too, with Bosson temporarily relocating to Matamata so he can ride, meaning he is away from wife Emily and son Max.

"It is getting hard now and Max keeps asking when Daddy is coming home, so like a lot of people, I can't wait until things open up a bit more."

But for now, the focus is on riding winners and edging closer to the OpieZone, with a totally unheralded galloper his next key focus.



"I am trying to get down to 54.5kg to ride a filly called Bright Blue Sky at Te Rapa this Saturday," says Bosson.

"She's very good and I don't want to miss out of her.

"I'm walking [everyday weight] 56kg at the moment, so it's going to be a tough week getting to 54.5kg but I think she's worth it."



Sign up to our newsletter