Jockey Glen Boss is hoping to resurrect his big race career and capture his fourth Australian Derby as well at Randwick on Saturday.
Boss will partner Kiwi three year old Ocean Park for trainer Gary Hennessy in the Group 1 $1.5m David Jones Australian Derby over 2400m.
Ocean Park put in an outstanding Derby trial for Boss when he came from near the tail of the field to go down in a photo finish when second to Laser Hawk in the Group 1 $500,000 Flinders Lane Rosehill Guineas (2000m) at Rosehill on March 31.
On the strength of that run and the colt’s previous New Zealand form, Boss was able to convince Hennessy and connections to pay a late entry fee to run in the Derby.
“I thought Ocean Park’s run in the Guineas was as good a Derby trial as I have seen for a while,” Boss said. “He got back on a tempo that didn’t really suit. It was a muddling pace and we had to go at about the half mile,” Boss said.
“He showed really good stamina to get to the line and finish second. Laser Hawk is a nice horse and probably deserves to be favourite but I’d be surprised if my horse isn’t in the finish again.”
Boss thinks he has the three year old to give him his fourth Australian Derby after winning the prestigious Group 1 last year on the Danny O’Brien trained Shamrocker, as well as Starcraft in 2004 and 1999 winner Sky Heights.
Boss returned from a serious shoulder injury in January and said that he has been struggling to get a ride in Sydney over the Autumn Carnival and is hoping a win in the Derby on Ocean Park will again bring his talents to the attention of owners and trainers.
“I just can’t get a ride up there,” Boss said.
“Everything I’ve rung for, I can’t get on. When you come back from injury, it is difficult to get the good rides but that is the way it is, this is a results-driven game, I understand that and I’m not complaining.”
Boss said that he had a great Sydney Carnival last year before going to Singapore for three months then returned to Melbourne.
He was only back a couple weeks when injury his shoulder which put him on the sidelines for nearly five month.
“When I returned to Melbourne, I was only back a couple of weeks when I smashed my shoulder and was out for nearly five months,” Boss said.
“I had Pinker Pinker and Dunaden lined up to ride in the spring before I was injured and they won the Cox Plate and Melbourne (Cup).”
“Since I’ve been back, I feel I’m riding well, riding plenty of winners, and I’ve just got to keep working hard to get back into people’s psyche.”
Boss and Ocean Park will be up against the Gai Waterhouse trained Laser Hawk again as well as top Kiwi filly Silent Achiever. There was less than half a length covering the trio in the Guineas and the best ride on Saturday will be the telling factor again.
“Now I have had a ride on the horse I know a lot more about him and I think the extra distance will really suit him,” Boss said.
“He toughed it out well in the Guineas over 2000 metres and one thing my horse has is a very good turn of foot.”