Turn Me Loose was in a different class to his rivals in
yesterday’s Gr. 1 Sothys New Zealand 2000 Guineas at Riccarton, and his
champion rider Opie Bosson has put together a similar record of
dominance in the $400,000 classic.
Yesterday’s win was Bosson’s sixth victory in the prestigious race,
which no other jockey has won more than twice in its 42-year history.
The three-length romp by Turn Me Loose was Bosson’s biggest 2000
Guineas win by margin, but there has been no shortage of talent and
class among his other victorious mounts.
Bosson won his first 2000 Guineas in 1998 with Danske. The colt by
Danehill out of Our Tristalight was having his 10th start in the
November 11 feature. He sat midfield before hitting the lead at the top
of the straight and kicking strongly to win by a nose from subsequent
Derby winner So Casual.
The Guineas was Danske’s fourth win and he had been placed on another
four occasions. He had previously won the Gr. 2 Lindauer Guineas at
Ellerslie and the Listed Baillieu Stakes at Randwick, and he ran second
in the Gr. 3 Hawke’s Bay Guineas and against older horses in the Gr. 1
Captain Cook Stakes.
Danske would only race three more times, all in Australia. He
finished second in the Gr. 2 AAMI Classic at Caulfield but was unplaced
in the Listed Debonair Stakes and Gr. 1 Australian Cup.
Danske retired to stud, where he produced Group One winner Snazzy and
several other stakes performers including Coup Ay Tee, Dancing Jess,
Tadan, Molta, The Twist, Dante’s Paradiso, Anne Carina, Our Bee Jay,
Titsgittin, Valhalla, Figurinit, The Hand Of Faith and Quite Astute.
The very next year Bosson won the Guineas again, this time aboard
Buzz Lightyear. The son of Gold Brose and Excitable Kid won the Guineas
at his ninth start. He led for most of the journey, was tackled at the
turn but kicked again to take control of the race and score by a length
and three-quarters from Thee Old Dragon and Group One filly Ad Alta.
It was the ill-fated Buzz Lightyear’s third win and he had been
placed three times. He had won the Hawke’s Bay Guineas and placed in the
Lindauer Guineas and Eclipse Stakes. He raced four more times, winning
the Gr. 1 Bayer Classic and Listed New Zealand Derby Trial before
failing to see out the 2400 metres of the Derby. He was fourth in the
Gr. 2 Alister Clark Stakes at Moonee Valley in his only other start.
Bosson’s next Guineas win came four years later with King’s Chapel,
who won the classic at his eighth start. He was trapped wide after
breaking from an outside gate but strode forward to take the lead and
ran away to a dominant win by two lengths over Sarah Vee and Kainui
The win was the King Of Kings colt’s sixth in those eight starts, and
had also been placed once. His previous victories included the $500,000
Super Bonus Classique and the Listed Ray Coupland Stakes.
Overall King’s Chapel won 10 of his 23 starts including the Gr. 1
Telegraph Handicap and Otaki WFA. He also had Group One placings in the
Bayer Classic and the George Main Stakes in Sydney.
King’s Chapel retired to Windsor Park Stud, where he sired stakes
performers King’s Ransom, King Montrose, Negotiate, Lady Chapel and
Princess Emmy. He has since moved to South Africa to continue his stud
Bosson then endured his longest gap between Guineas victories – six
years. The drought was spectacularly broken by the flying grey filly
Katie Lee in 2009. The win was the Pins filly’s fourth from nine starts.
Katie Lee travelled nicely midfield but was slammed into from both
sides at the top of the Riccarton straight. Bosson helped her regain her
balance and rhythm and she produced an explosive turn of foot to burst
out of the pack and run down subsequent Derby winner Military Move to
win by a length.
A week later Katie Lee made history, becoming the first and so far
only horse to win the 2000 Guineas-1000 Guineas double. She produced a
similar late run down the outside of the track to wear down subsequent
Oaks winner Keep The Peace and score by half a neck.
Katie Lee retired with eight wins and eight placings from 23 starts –
a high-class performer for much of her career, and an unstoppable force
for that one amazing week at Riccarton in November 2009.
Last year Bosson notched up his fifth Guineas with with Atlante, a
Fastnet Rock colt having just his fifth start. He had cleared maidens at
the third time of asking, stepped up to stakes class to win the
Canterbury Stakes at his fourth start and then won the 2000 Guineas to
complete a hat-trick of wins.
Atlante led in last year’s Guineas, was tackled and headed in the
straight but lifted again to win by three-quarters of a length from
Chambord, Gobi Ranger and a promising one-win horse by the name of
That was Atlante’s final New Zealand run. He then relocated to
Australia, where he won at Listed level and was placed in the Gr. 2
Bosson has also enjoyed significant success in the 1000 Guineas and
Oaks. He won the 1000 Guineas with Katie Lee in 2009 and King’s Rose in
2010, and he has won the Oaks four times – She’s Country (2000), Bramble
Rose (2003), Princess Coup (2007) and Keep The Peace (2010).
The New Zealand Derby is the only New Zealand classic to so far elude him. He finished third aboard Castlzeberg in 2013.