Punters who invested heavily on the mounts of jockey Opie Bosson at Ellerslie on Saturday were well rewarded with the man from Matamata claiming four wins on the day including the major prize, the group one Vodafone New Zealand Derby on Gingernuts.
Bosson, who is in white-hot form, set the tone for his day right from the opening salvo when he produced a copybook effort to land Ja Ja Binks a narrow but impressive win in the first race on the programme.
The four-year-old Falkirk mare had surprised many with a devastating late sprint on Karaka Million night to win over 1200 metres in the hands of visiting rider Hugh Bowman.
Stepping up in grade to rating 75 company on Saturday obviously didn't faze her as Bosson employed similar tactics to produce the same result for trainers Emma-Lee and David Browne who also own and co-bred the mare. Settled at the rear of the nine horse field Ja Ja Binks was a conservative seven lengths from the leaders as they headed for home.
Although winding up strongly many felt she had left her run too late as she was still two lengths astern of race favourite Julius who had taken control with 150 metres to run. Bosson had timed his run to perfection though and she collared the favourite right on the line to win by a head in a smart 1.09.49 for the 1200 metre journey.
"She's just been a superstar as she keeps improving," said an excited Emma-Lee Browne after the race.
"David galloped her the other day and said he didn't want to say it but she had improved again.
"She bounced through her last run well but we were concerned about the step up in grade against the older, seasoned horses so it's a good result."
Bosson was also taken with the mare's ability to sprint quickly when asked. "They were really flying up front so I was hoping they might compound that last bit," he explained.
"She's a good mare who has a great turn of foot."
Bosson also won race 3 on Peaky Blinders and took out race 8, the $100,000 Darley Plate, with Splurge.
- NZ Racing Desk