Gingernuts co-trainer Stephen Autridge ordained Opie Bosson the best jockey in New Zealand and he lived up to that billing in Hastings today.
Owen Patrick (Opie) Bosson rode the champion chestnut gelding to victory in the group one $200,000 Windsor Park Plate, eclipsing Close Up and veteran jockey Grant Cooksley by a short neck and relegating pre-race favourite Kawi and Jason Waddell to third place.
"I was lucky to get on horses Stephen has trained and Gingernuts a very promising horse so I was very lucky to ride him," a composed Bosson said before lauding group one Tarzino Trophy (1400m) winner Close Up who was eyeing a double for trainer Shelley Hale, of Cambridge.
"He was a very good horse and he pushed me right up to the line so there wasn't much between them."
The 37-year-old jockey from Auckland was happy to leave the decision on whether to return to the $250,000 group one Livamol Classic over 2040m here on Saturday, October 7, or go to the Victorian Spring Racing Carnival in Australia.
"There's probably a bit better price money there but then we'll have to go against the champion Winx," he said of the 6-year-old phenomenon in Australia.
Winx, who was only the third horse to be inducted this year into the Australia Hall of Fame while still in training, won 20 stakes races on the trot since since May 2015.
The mare is gobsmacking allrounder in every sense of the word because of her ability to win from distances ranging from 1300m to 2200m.
Having won more than $A13 million for her owners, Winx is in the A$500,000 ($540,000) Turnbull Stakes in the Victoria Racing Club's group one thoroughbred race for horses 4 years old and older, run under set weights with penalties conditions over 2000m.
The Turnbull Stakes is held at Flemington Racecourse, Melbourne. It is considered a vital precursor to the Caulfield Cup, Cox Plate and the largest thoroughbred meeting in the southern hemisphere, the Emirates Melbourne Cup (3200m).
But today belonged to 4-year-old Gingernuts, sired by Iffraaj (2001, Great Britain) out of Double Elle (2001, NZ), who had finished fifth in the Tarzino Trophy because of interference on September 2.
"He was a relatively a good ride but he's pretty much learning himself because he likes looking around in the races so you have to keep his mind on the job," said Bosson of today's weight-for-age win, confirming if the gelding ends up at the Melbourne Cup he would love to be there as well.
The jockey has had two attempts at Melbourne Cup although in the second one two years ago his horse, a favourite, was scratched.
Autridge and co-trainer Jamie Richards will hold talks with Te Akau syndicate principal David Ellis tomorrow to see where three-time group one winner Gingernuts will race next.