Champion jockey Opie Bosson had one regret after riding Probabeel to a surprise trial win at Matamata yesterday.
"She felt amazing but I am starting to realise I may never feel that in a race with her again," said Bosson.
The pair combined to win the first of two open catchweight trials for stakes performed horses only run over 1050m before the Matamata race meeting, with local weight-for-age star Tiptronic taking out the other trial.
Probabeel rarely trials at anything like her best fresh up, often needing two trials to look really sharp and even then that usually only comes when trainer Jamie Richards applies the hood to let her know it is race day.
So Bosson, who is serving a six-meeting suspension but was allowed to ride in the trials, was pleasantly surprised by what he felt.
"She is such a big strong mare these days, she feels like a tank underneath you," he said.
"But even with that she feels sharp and like she is in for a really good campaign."
That campaign will be in Australia though with Probabeel's main aim the A$5 million All Star Mile at Flemington on March 19 and that could mean Bosson doesn't get to team up with the Horse of the Year again.
He hasn't ridden her in a race since the ATC Oaks at Randwick in April 2020 mainly because of Covid travel restrictions and of course local commitments.
While it is anybody's guess what will happen with Covid and transtasman travel restrictions in the coming months, if the status quo remains, with no home isolation until March at the earliest, Probabeel will be halfway through her last campaign before entering the broodmare paddock next spring.
"Of course I'd love to get over there to ride her but a lot will depend on what the restrictions are like. I'd hate to think I'd never ride her again," said Bosson. Even if travel is more open by March, by then Probabeel would have had at least two lead-up races to the All Star Mile for another jockey and the Mile is also the same day as the NZ Oaks and Levin Classic, both group one, at Trentham.
Couplands Mile winner Markus Aurelius was a close second in the trial while Elephant, who is also being set for the All Star Mile, was third but with the field finishing in a bunch and few of them pushed out.
That wasn't the case for Bosson's ride in the second star-studded trial in which Karaka Classic Mile hot favourite On The Bubbles looked lethargic.
He was being asked to improve at the 400m mark but struggled up the straight to finish last in the heat won by Tiptronic over his stablemate Bonny Lass.
While On The Bubbles wasn't wearing his usual side winkers it was hardly the performances punters taking the $1.70 on offer for the $1m race on Saturday week would have been hoping to see.