The Boss Man does it again. Why you must follow him in the big races this Spring.

September 29, 2012

Bossy got me out of strife again. I’ve lost count of how many times that is now.

It was at Caulfield. On one for Peter Snowden, as the shadows were lengthening, and my pocket was emptying.

He’d ridden a Group One winner a few hours earlier. And no-one was the least bit surprised.

There are some footballers who love finals time. It brings out the best in them. Glen Boss comes alive in the Spring.

We all have our favourite racing memories. Mostly, it’s about the horses.

I have a heap of them. Black and white vision of Gunsynd saluting in the 1972 Doncaster. Kiwi and the Pumper storming home in the 1983 Melbourne Cup. Super Impose doing the impossible in the 1991 Epsom. Black Caviar raising the roof at Doomben.

Stirring efforts from wonderful animals. But tucked away in my treasure trove, is a memory of an amazing performance from a jockey.

The day Bossy drove Makybe Diva down that long Flemington straight to win her third consecutive Melbourne Cup, was special for so many reasons.

The obvious, of course. The mighty mare setting a record that will never be conquered.

But it was the effort of the jockey that stays in my mind. Surely we’ve never expected so much from a single ride. Pressure most will never come close to experiencing.

Lee Freedman called it the perfect performance. Said it should be dusted off in years to come, and shown to every young hoop.

Boss left nothing to chance. Zero trouble. No hard luck stories, on the biggest of stages.

He’d done it many times before. None of that mattered on this day. Perfection was all that could be accepted.

He delivered. She won. A nation cheered. They deliberately took their time coming back to scale, this pair of champions. The cheering got louder.

The mare nodded her magnificent head to the frenzied crowd. And Bossy did a jig. Right there in the saddle. He waved his skinny arms, and smiled the smile of a man who had given his all.

How easy it would have been to take the foot off the pedal after that remarkable day. So many others would have. Not G. Boss.

He’s incredibly driven, this proud Queenslander. You only need to watch him before a race to see that. And the bigger the event, the steelier the resolve.

Don’t call him a veteran. That’s what we label old fellas. Experienced is a far better term.

The leading trainers will battle for his attentions over the coming weeks. Take note when he jumps on one. There are more big winners ahead.

One of them might just be Southern Speed in the Caulfield Cup. Bossy’s taken the ride, as the South Australian looks to win the race two years running. I hadn’t given her much hope. Now I do.

None of that will worry the jockey. I’m pretty sure he doesn’t care too much what others think. He’s ready to create more memories for a new generation of racegoers. And get me out of strife yet again.

Million dollar baby. The trouble with famous parents and tight genes.

August 20, 2011

The midwives would have been lining up for autographs. Mum was a freak. Dad one of the best ever.

Baby was a bouncing 52 kilos. Heavier than some of the jockeys who’ll end up riding him.

Can you imagine how jealous the other youngsters at trackwork will be, when he lets on who his parents are?

They booked the Royal suite the night Lonhro put his best moves on Makybe Diva. What a match up.

They were two of the very best. Champions. And big shoes for junior to fill.

A confession here. I’m no breeding expert. I’ll back the progeny of my favourite sires, but that’s about it. I can tell you more about Mister Ed than Seattle Slew. Actually, Mister Ed could tell you himself. How did he do that?

Anyway, back to the Golden One. This is something special. A match the gurus are salivating over.

I enjoy it when dreamers fork out a million for a young horse at the sales. You have to admire their courage, and the thickness of their wallet.

It’s the ultimate gamble. No guarantees in this business. The size of the prize tag doesn’t mean you have yourself a winner.

So much can go wrong. Sometimes they don’t even make it to the track. Imagine trying to explain that to the missus.

John Singleton is one of the great breeding dreamers. Every match is carefully thought out.

He once showed me a strapping youngster at the Gold Coast sales. Bred from his beloved mare Sally Magic.

She’d run second in the 1999 Magic Millions two-year old classic. Beaten by the hulking Testa Rossa. Singo hates running second.

He decided the best way to win his own race, was to play matchmaker. With the placegetters. So Testa and Sally became more than good friends.

In Singo speak, this compared to getting Ian Thorpe and Giann Mooney together, so they could produce our next Olympic flyer. As convincing as he sounded, I’m pretty sure that never happened.

Anyway, the racing union produced the well performed galloper Publishing. He won a couple. But not the one Singo wanted.

And that’s the problem at the top end of the breeding business. As foolproof as a plan might be, it doesn’t always work.

Cheapies and no-names can still win. Even in our biggest races. Australians love that. We can buy a share with our mates, and dream. All without breaking the bank.

You and I won’t own the Lonhro-Makybe Diva colt. That’s ok. He has a long way to go. And there are plenty of others to go around.

He might be a champion. Or a dud. Time will tell. But can he talk? Now that would be worth a million.