Rider Opie Bosson made it Group One-win number sixty-two when he guided hot favourite Yourdeel to victory in the Gr.1 Sistema Stakes (1200m) at Ellerslie on Saturday.
Bosson sat one behind Hall Of Fame jockey Lance O'Sullivan prior to racing on Saturday and levelled up to his former great rival at the first opportunity of the day.
Yourdeel was backing up from a comprehensive victory in the Gr.3 Waikato Stud Slipper (1200m) on a Slow7 surface at Matamata last month. With that proven ability on a wet track, punters were keen to unload on the Dundeel two-year-old and sent him out at cramped odds ($1.70) in the juvenile feature that was run on a Heavy10 surface following persistent mid-morning rain in Auckland.
Allowed to stride forward early in the piece off his wide barrier, Yourdeel travelled boldly on the outer for Bosson before joining issue as the field swung wide into the home straight. Cuddled up by Bosson, Yourdeel hit the front with 200m to run before holding out the late challenges of Aalaalune and Aretha to score by a head at the line.
Bosson admitted he had his concerns as his mount wanted to fire-up during the early running.
“He over-raced a bit early and I thought surely he can’t keep going,” he said.
“When I got stuck in, he fought so hard, he’s a top-quality horse.
“With the rain we got I started to favour that draw and although we were wide the whole way, we were in the better part of the track.
“It’s great (to equal O’Sullivan) as Lance was a champion jockey and a champion bloke as well. So, it’s quite humbling to be up with someone like him.”
Trained by Jamie Richards at Matamata, Yourdeel was originally bought as a pin-hooking opportunity by Little Avondale Stud out of Dan Myers’ draft at the 2017 National Weanling Sale. Presented at the 2018 National Yearling Sale at Karaka by Little Avondale, he was knocked down to the $100,000 bid of Chris Rutten who shares in his ownership with John Norwood and Rod Preston.
Richards, who also trained 2018 race winner Sword Of Osman in partnership with Stephen Autridge, was quick to point out that the gelding of the horse prior to the Waikato Stud Slipper had played a significant role in his latest success.
“A very sharp knife is the key to this horse,” he said.
“In the pre-parade ring he was on the toe a little bit so you can imagine what he was like as a colt.
“A big thank you to the owners and the team at home as they have done a great job.
“He’s a very good horse and he will now go to the Sires’ in a couple of weeks as long as everything is honky dory at home.
“He will go down there and be a big chance as if he can ride him with a bit of cover, I think you will really see him explode.”
The Gr.1 Courtesy Ford Manawatu Sires Produce Stakes (1400m) is the feature event at Awapuni on March 30.
Just thirty minutes after success in the Sistema Stakes, Bosson claimed the Group One victory record as his own with a win on Melody Belle in the Gr.1 Bonecrusher New Zealand Stakes (2000m). – NZ Racing Desk
Race Replay: Yourdeel out-finishes Aalaalune at Ellerslie