Opie Bosson was suspended for his ride on Te Akau Shark in Saturday’s Group 1 George Ryder Stakes (1500m), but might have further questions to answer regarding his handling of the popular gelding.
Racing New South Wales stewards have adjourned an inquiry into tactics adopted by Bosson in the early stages of the 1500m event aboard the $1.95 favourite, who finished third, beaten 1.5 lengths, in the race won by Dreamforce.
The Stewards’ report stated: “The Stewards opened an inquiry into the tactics adopted by rider O. Bosson on the gelding and, in particular, the reason he raced three and four wide throughout the event. “O. Bosson stated that he was issued with no specific instructions, other than to have Te Akau Shark settle where comfortable. He stated that shortly after the start he identified The Bostonian to his outside and he elected to endeavour to hold a trailing position behind that runner whilst at the same time not shifting towards the running rail as he felt the ground out wider was superior.
“He said that when The Bostonian did not cross his mount in the early stages and the leader, Dreamforce, remained wide, he did not elect to shift towards the running rail, which resulted in both Happy Clapper and Super Seth being able to improve to his inside near the 1100m. “As a consequence, Te Akau Shark was obliged to race wide. He stated that when The Bostonian then shifted in, Te Akau Shark then was left racing wide and without cover and when the tempo increased from the 600m he commenced to place pressure on Te Akau Shark, however, the gelding did not initially respond to his efforts and found it difficult to make up ground in the straight due to the moderate early tempo.
“He added that Te Akau Shark dropping back in distance to today’s 1500m also may have had an influence on the gelding’s ability to quicken when he commenced to urge his mount forward at the 600m.”
Te Akau Shark’s trainer Jamie Richards confirmed he had not issued specific instructions and was unable to comment on the ride as he had not had an opportunity to assess the tactics adopted. The adjourned inquiry was just part of an unwanted post-script for Bosson, who was hit with a suspension for causing interference to Super Seth near the 1100m when he shifted in aboard Te Akau Shark.
Bosson’s suspension commences immediately with the champion New Zealand jockey free to ride again on Thursday April 2. That means he will forgo the ride on star Kiwi filly Probabeel in the Group 1 Vinery Stud Stakes (2000m) this Saturday, but will be free to partner Melody Belle in the Group 1 Doncaster Mile (1600m) on April 4. Te Akau Shark’s next start is expected to be the Group 1 Queen Elizabeth Stakes (2000m) at Randwick on April 11.
Kerrin McEvoy has been booked to ride Probabeel this weekend. The Brendan and Jo Lindsay-owned filly has been ridden by McEvoy on three previous occasions, where the Savabeel filly finished second to Funstar in the Group 2 Tea Rose Stakes (1400m), Group 1 Flight Stakes (1600m) and Group 2 Phar Lap Stakes (1500m).