Kiwi hoop Opie Bosson may be heading on a winter spell of his own but before his break the jockey jumped aboard Australian Derby winner Monogolian Khan who he described as “looking good” for a spring return.
A Murray Baker-trained Holy Roman Emperor colt, three-year-old Mongolian Khan is based in New Zealand but is best known for his big Australian win down under during the Sydney Autumn Racing Carnival.
After winning five of his six starts back home including the Group 1 New Zealand Derby (2400m) at Ellerslie over Volkstok’n’barrell in late February, the proven stayer travelled to Oz and had his first run on the Aussie turf at Rosehill Gardens on March 21.
It was straight into elite level company for the Group 1 Rosehill Guineas (2000m) where NZ Derby runner-up Volkstok’n’barrell enjoyed a step back in distance to win in a race Mongolian Khan could only manage to finish fifth in.
The fifth was a solid effort though and the raider was hard to the line after a nice late finish seeing his odds for his next run back up over the mile and a half firm.
That run was in the Group 1 Australian Derby (2400m) at Randwick on April 6 and Bosson and Mongolian Khan got the job done for the punters beating Hauraki by three quarters of a length.
Sent for a spell after the Derby success, Baker’s star galloper is back in work and gearing up for a return to Australia for the Melbourne Spring Racing Carnival where he’ll be racing in Victoria for the first time.
Based on his Derby win the horse is already well fancied in the futures markets for one of the carnival’s majors, the $3 million Group 1 Caulfield Cup (2400m) running on October 17.
Currently Godolphin’s Authorized four-year-old Hartnell, The BMW winner last seen running fourth to Grand Marshall in the Sydney Cup over the two miles, leads the all-in Caulfield Cup odds at Ladbrokes.
Equal at the top of the ante-post markets at around $13 with the John O’Shea-trained stayer is Mongolian Khan who, according to Bosson who rode him in trackwork last week at Cambridge, has come through his spell in excellent order.
“He seems to have grown a bit but isn’t too heavy which is great,” Bosson said.
“He felt good when I rode him in pacework. It’s early days yet but he’s looking good.”
While ready to enjoy his time off, Bosson is also aware of the work he will be doing to get back to his riding weight to partner with stars like Mongolian Khan in the new season.
“I’m off on holiday to Europe on the fourth of July and won’t be back until the 24th,” he told Fairfax NZ.
“I always have trouble with my weight in winter and I’m looking forward to the break.
“When I get back I’ve got a personal trainer organised to help me out. I’m confident I’ll get the weight off. Besides I’ve got so many good rides to look forward to, especially Mongolian Khan.”
Also over in New Zealand enjoying a winter holiday is Sydney-based jockey Jim Cassidy who is also eyeing off a couple of Spring Carnival rides while back home.
Veteran great Cassidy suffered a back injury last month but says he is on the mend and set to jump back in the saddle in Sydney during the opening week of the new racing season.