Bosson back in time to ride Te Akau Shark

te akau shark (r)
NZ jockey Opie Bosson is in Sydney before travel restrictions begin and rides Te Akau Shark at Rosehill.

Te Akau Shark will have his regular rider aboard in the Group One George Ryder Stakes after Opie Bosson made a hurried trip back to Australia.

Bosson rode Melody Belle to third in the $5 million All-Star Mile in Melbourne on Saturday before flying home to New Zealand.

He arrived before protocols in New Zealand kicked in under which he would have had to self-isolate for 14 days in response to the coronavirus crisis.

When Australia introduced the same measures for overseas arrivals starting from midnight on Sunday, Bosson made the quick turnaround.

He was able to get on a flight from New Zealand and arrived in Sydney at 9.30pm on Sunday.

Bosson is stable rider for Te Akau Racing which has Group One winners Te Akau Shark, Melody Belle and Probabeel set for further elite level races in the coming weeks in Sydney.

“I live about an hour from the airport so we booked the flights and I drove straight to the airport – my wife packed my bag – and I was away,” Bosson told RSN927.

“The horses are here and I was more than happy to get on the first plane I could to get here to try to be associated with them.”

It means Bosson will now be based in Sydney during the autumn carnival but trainer Jamie Richards will stay in New Zealand.

Richards’ father Peter has been looking after Melody Belle in Melbourne and will oversee the team along with Ashley Handley who has been caring for Te Akau Shark and Probabeel in Sydney.

Te Akau Shark, brilliant winner of the Group One Chipping Norton Stakes at Randwick with Bosson aboard on February 29, is favourite for Saturday’s George Ryder Stakes on Golden Slipper day at Rosehill.

The meeting is scheduled to go ahead with a public lock-out in place to adhere to the government’s guidelines on non-essential mass gatherings of more than 500 people.

Te Akau Shark headlines the 15 nominations for the Group One George Ryder (1500m) which include fellow New Zealander The Bostonian who won the Group One Canterbury Stakes in Sydney at his most recent start.

Grand campaigner Happy Clapper, Caulfield Guineas winner Super Seth and multiple Group One winner Alizee are also among the entries.