Big chance for Boss to get name back up in lights in Sydney
Big-race jockey Glen Boss has picked up the plum ride on likely Sydney Cup favourite Big Duke this Saturday.
The Kranji-based Australian jockey threw his name in the mix when the Darren Weir-trained stayer’s jockey Craig Williams was suspended for eight meetings on a careless riding charged incurred on Easter Monday.
He, however, had to wait on the outcome of an appeal lodged by Williams against the sentence, and was finally given the go-ahead when Williams lost his appeal on Wednesday.
The A$2 million Group 1 Sydney Cup (3200m) is being re-run after the originally scheduled race was declared a no-race a fortnight ago when Almoonqith was fatally injured in a fall shortly past the winning post for the first time, at Randwick.
The Stewards’ decision to call off the race on safety grounds did not sit all that well with everybody, drawing the ire, among others, of former Kranji hoop Corey Brown, who along with five other jockeys, kept riding his mount Polarisation, unaware the other jockeys had pulled their mounts up behind.
Polarisation , who will be back for the rematch with Brown, went on to finish first past the post, but Brown later returned to scales to a bitter disappointment.
Boss, who captured the Group 2 Singapore Three-Year-Old Classic (1400m) aboard the undefeated Countofmontecristo last Friday, realises that if it were not for that highly unusual incident and Williams’ suspension, he would not now be having a decent crack at a second Sydney Cup.
“I won one Sydney Cup with Makybe Diva in 2004. That’s already 13 years ago!” said Boss who moved to Singapore last year after he felt opportunities were dropping in Melbourne.
“I saw the Sydney Cup that was declared a no-race, and also heard Corey’s reaction after the race. I feel sorry for him, but what do you do.
“Obviously, it’s also disappointing for Craig this time around, but I have to say a big thank you to the owners, the Australian Bloodstock and one of its directors Jamie Lovett for the opportunity.
"Big Duke is a lightly-raced stayer on the way up, he has been well prepared by Darren Weir to get in at a low handicap. He's got 52kg in the race but his rating suggests he should be carrying more.”
The triple Melbourne Cup-winning jockey is in for another hectic schedule as he is booked for seven rides at Kranji on Friday night with his last ride Premier Fighter coming in the last race at 10.20pm. He will then rush straight to Changi Airport to catch his flight to Sydney, and will be back on Sunday morning, when he would be able to catch his breath a little as he has only three rides from the 11-race programme.
An Irish-bred five-year-old by Raven’s Pass who raced as Swashbuckling in England, Big Duke has been an instant hit at his new home, winning five of his seven starts, with three at Group level, including the Group 3 Launceston Cup (2400m) and the Group 2 Chairman’s Handicap (2600m) at his last start on April 1.
The Sydney Cup, which has garnered a field of 14 runners, will unfortunately not be shown ‘live’ on the racing channel in Singapore. The Australian simulcast races on that day include Trentham, Doomben, Gold Coast, Ascot and Toowoomba meetings.
Australian media reports that Big Duke opened favourite at $3.30 on Wednesday, with two Godolphins on his heels, Penglai Pavilion next in line at $5 and Polarisation at $6, both prepared by Charlie Appleby.
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