Commentator George Simon summed up what many were thinking at the finish of the first race at Te Rapa when he uttered the well-known catch cry ‘there’s only one Opie Bosson’.
Bosson had just guided the raging hot favourite Move To Strike ($1.35) to a seemingly effortless debut victory over 1100m, in the process lodging win number 2000 in New Zealand in a superlative career where he has been readily acknowledged as one of the very best to grace a saddle.
The 43-year-old was typically understated when questioned about his achievement, preferring to shower praise upon the Mark Walker and Sam Bergerson-trained colt who he believes could prove to be a very special horse in the future.
“That was pretty cool really,” Bosson said.
“I knew he was the horse I could get it (2000 wins) on today and to do it for David (Ellis) and the whole Te Akau Racing team is just an extra bonus.
“Any milestone in a career is good and it is an elite club to be a part of.
“I think this horse is a superstar in the making.
“He just has the right attitude and you would think he has been doing this for years.
“He takes things in his stride and there are better things to come.”
Co-trainer Mark Walker shares a similar opinion of the son of I Am Invincible, who was purchased by Te Akau Racing boss David Ellis for A$525,000 at the Magic Millions Yearling Sale at the Gold Coast earlier this year and had been unbeaten in three trials prior to his first outing on raceday.
“The colt is such an amazing customer with such a good brain on him, we think he has a big future,” he said.”
Walker suggested Move To Strike may contest the $225,000 Eclipse Stakes (Gr. 2, 1200m) on 1 January at Pukekohe, while also on the radar is the A$2m Blue Diamond Stakes (Gr. 1, 1200m) on 24 February at Caulfield.
He also paid tribute to Bosson who commenced his association with Walker and Te Akau Racing as an apprentice back in the late 1990’s.
“This will give him (Bosson) a real thrill and it is quite an achievement for someone who has struggled with his weight throughout his career,” he said.
“He won on Integrate for us when he was a 16-year-old and he had a postage stamp as a saddle and to still be there after all these years is a real credit to him.
“It was good for him to do it on such an exciting horse and one he has thought a lot of for some time.”
Bosson, who has constantly battled weight issues during a career that commenced in 1995 with a win at Gisborne when he was a fifteen-year-old apprentice, becomes the eighth member of the 2000-win club with other riders to have achieved the rare feat being Chris Johnson, David Walsh, Lance O’Sullivan, Noel Harris, David Peake, Bill Skelton and Michael Coleman.
He was named an Officer of the New Zealand Order of Merit (ONZM) for his contribution to the thoroughbred industry in June this year.