Glen shows who's the Boss on Oaks Day
Former S'pore-based top Aussie rider wins Australian Oaks on Colette and Sydney Cup on Etah James
Former Singapore-based three-time Melbourne Cup-winning jockey Glen Boss on Saturday ruled the roost on Australian Oaks Day, which proceeded without the fanfare of a rousing crowd at Randwick racecourse because of the Covid-19 pandemic.
The top-form 50-year-old captured two of the four Group 1 feature races staged that afternoon - aboard Colette in the A$500,000 (S$447,000) Australian Oaks over 2,400m and on Etah James in the A$ 1 million Sydney Cup over 3,200m.
For good measure, Boss also lifted the A$500,000 Group 2 Percy Sykes Stakes over 1,200m for two-year-old fillies.
His well-supported mount Away Game, trained by Claron Maher and David Eustace, beat Vangelic by 11/2 lengths.
The other two Group 1 events of the day - the A$2 million Queen Elizabeth Stakes over 2,000m and the A$500,000 Coolmore Legacy Stakes over 1,200m - were won by Addeybb and Con Te Partiro respectively.
It sure was a long time since Boss enjoyed successes in the Oaks and Sydney Cup, but it's always better late than never.
His last Oaks winner was in 2006 aboard Serenade Rose, trained by Lee Freedman, who is now plying his trade in Singapore and won the premiership with 67 winners in his first full season in 2018.
Boss also won the Oaks, which is for three-year-old fillies, on Republic Lass in 2002.
His last Sydney Cup victory was in 2004, aboard Makybe Diva, the wonder mare who gave him his three Melbourne Cup triumphs in 2003, 2004 and2005.
Boss has now amassed close to 90 Group 1 successes in his career. A riding feat, indeed.
Trained by James Cummings, whose legendary grandfather Bart won the Australian Oaks seven times, Colette justified her 2-1 favouritism with a 21/2-length win over Toffee Tongue (14-1). Quintessa (15-1) finished third.
Boss was full of praise for his winner, who is owned by Dubai ruler Sheikh Mohammed's powerful Godolphin stable.
"She's not big but she doesn't ride like a little horse. She's got a big action and she was able to put herself in the right spot," Boss told The Sydney Morning Herald.
Boss was equally ecstatic with 13-1 shot Etah James' victory in the Sydney Cup, in which he beat The Chosen One (17-1), with Raheen House (5-1) third.
He knew his seven-year-old mare was in form and was only worried about English import Young Rascal. But the 2-1 favourite failed to see out 3,200m and finished seventh.
"This is flying, this thing. Her work on Tuesday was exceptional, actually," said Boss of Etah James. " I wasn't expecting to beat the English horse, to be very honest, but I was expecting to run one, two or three."
Boss rode on and off in Singapore, even at the old Bukit Timah racecourse, but was based at Kranji for three years until last May when he cut short his stint to return to Australia .
The Australian Hall of Famer with close to 2,800 winners in 32 years notched his most famous Singapore win at a hit-and-run visit in 2010, when he landed the Group 1 Longines Singapore Gold Cup on Risky Business.
All-up, he rode 155 winners in Singapore, including 11 at Group level. Four of them were in Group 1 - the Queen Elizabeth II Cup with Laughing Gravy (2016), two Patron's Bowls with Well Done (2016) and Alibi (2017) and the Lion City Cup with Lim's Cruiser (2018).