Racing: Bosson gets kudos over Imperatriz

Racing: Bosson gets kudos over Imperatriz

Trainer Mark Walker paid tribute to champion jockey Opie Bosson’s role in a golden day for Te Akau yesterday, not just for the three black type winners he rode but the one he didn’t.

Walker and new training partner Sam Bergerson trained four winners at Hastings, including Skew Wiff winning the $400,000 Tarzino Trophy, giving Bergerson his first Group 1.

But their remarkable day got better just an hour later when Imperatriz came from last to smash the 1000m track record at The Valley in Melbourne, winning the A$300,000 McEwen Stakes in the hands of catch rider Mick Dee.

Bosson is the usual jockey for Imperatriz but stayed home at the stable’s request to handle the Hastings team, including the tricky Skew Wiff.


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“It has been a magic day. So much hard work goes into this from so many people,” said Walker.

“But special mention has to go to Opie. He loves Imperatriz and would have loved to be in Melbourne to ride her but he took one for the team staying here to take care of business and he handled them all so well.”

Imperatriz’s dramatic win over Everest defending champion Giga Kick saw her rocket to third favouritism for the A$20 million sprint on October 14 and she is certain to have slot holders chasing her.

But Walker and syndicate managers Te Akau had been adamant her spring was going to be spent in Victoria and any thoughts of changing direction are being put on hold.


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“We aren’t thinking about that [right now],” Walker told the Herald on Sunday. “We’ll see how she comes through this race, which is the most important thing, and if there are discussions about that to be had later in the week, they will happen then.”

Imperatriz raced in Sydney earlier this year, then had a surprise change of plans to go to Victoria to win the William Reid in March, so an Everest tilt shouldn’t be totally ruled out, especially as the mega-rich race looks extremely open.

While Skew Wiff’s triumph in the Tarzino was one for the kings of New Zealand, they welcomed a new young star in to their court.

Walker, Bosson and Skew Wiff’s owners, breeding giants Waikato Stud, are all record-setters who are used to the highs of winning Group1 races, but for new training partner Sam Bergerson, the win was a glimpse of his future.

Bergerson, the son of astute Central Districts trainer Roydon Bergerson, only joined Walker in partnership on August 1, so it has taken him just 39 days to train his first major.

“I’m just lucky to have this opportunity, to be part of a stable like this,” said Bergerson after Skew Wiff held out Dragon Leap and a slightly luckless Legarto.

While Bergerson was always going to have some serious horsepower to enjoy under the new partnership, Skew Wiff’s emergence this season has been rapid, as she looked talented but mentally immature last season.

Earlier in the day, the Walker-Bergerson stable’s domination started in the two black type 3-year-old races when both Tokyo Tycoon and Quintessa overcame wide draws with ease, while they also produced Fashion Shoot to win in between.

Tokyo Tycoon reaffirmed his Karaka Million-winning class as he tracked wide into the race but exploded at the 200m to win effortlessly, defying some concerns in his camp after some moderate trials.

While Tokyo Tycoon’s wicked comeback will be somewhat of a relief for his trainers, they are still wondering how good Quintessa may be after her domination in the Gold Trail Stakes.


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Quintessa is now unbeaten in three starts and senior trainer partner Walker was suggesting before the race she will be even better when she gets out past yesterday’s 1200m.