Big race jockey Glen Boss gets his chance to partner Fiveandahalfstar in the Group 2 $220,000 Hyland Race Colours Autumn Stakes (1400m) at Caulfield on Saturday after missing out on the Victoria Derby winning ride last Spring.
Boss had to knock back the ride on the Anthony Cummings trained three year old because of his commitment to Hvasstan in the Group 1 $1.5m AAMI Victoria Derby (2500m) at Flemington.
Disgraced jockey Damien Oliver was on board Fiveandahalfstar in the Derby but his disqualification for betting has given Boss the opportunity to ride the gelding on Saturday.
“I took the ride thinking Hvasstan was going to start the following week and then found out both were in the race,” Boss said.
“It is weird how things pan out.”
Boss then found out that trainer Peter Gelagotis had decided to run Hvasstan this Saturday but is glad to be on Fiveandahalfstar in the Autumn Stakes after getting a good feel of the three year old at trackwork yesterday.
“He’s a tough, cracking type,” Boss said.
“He ran the week before the Derby in Sydney, travelled to Melbourne and then bolted in the Derby. He has a great constitution. I know Anthony has big plans for him.”
Cummings has pencilled in a tough Group 1 Autumn campaign for Fiveandahalfstar after Saturday and could include a clash with glamour three year old All Too Hard in the Group 1 $750,000 Australian Guineas (1600m) at Flemington on March 2.
The Derby winner could then back up the following week in the Group 1 $1m Darley Australian Cup (2000m) at Flemington before heading back to Sydney for the Group 1 $2m BMW Doncaster Mile (1600m) at Randwick on April 20.
With Boss taking up the option to ride Fiveandahalfstar on Saturday, Gelagotis was quick to snap up the services of top international jockey Craig Williams for Hvasstan who is having his first run back after finishing fourth in the Derby.
“Craig has ridden him before so there are no concerns there. He’s a top jockey anywhere in the world,” Gelagotis said.
Even though Boss has been aboard Hvasstan at his last four starts, Williams is no stranger to the Fastnet Rock colt having ridden him twice at Sandown in August for a fourth and a second.
Fiveandahalfstar and Hvasstan will clash again with Super Cool in the Autumn Stakes after the Mark Kavanagh trained three year old ran a mighty race to finish second in the Victoria Derby.
The Autumn Stakes will also see the return to racing of the Bart Cummings Group 3 winner Lunar Rise and promising three year olds Philippi and Haussmann.