By Ray Hickson
From the concept itself to the way the race is shaping up, the hype around it and possibly the fact he’s riding a horse he believes can win - champion jockey Glen Boss loves everything about The TAB Everest.
Imagine what he’ll think of the race if he does win it!
On Saturday the jockey known as ‘Bossy’, now based back in Sydney after three years in Singapore, will have his first ride in the $14 million sprint showdown over 1200m at Royal Randwick on the lone three-year-old Yes Yes Yes.
“It’s a great concept and we’re lucky we don’t have a Black Caviar so everyone is in the mix, especially this year,’’ Boss said.
“Realistically, I’m convinced that eight people think they can win the race.
“It’s open for everyone, all the slot holders genuinely think they are in for a big show. That’s why it captures the imagination, and the market reflects that.
“There’s a different contender every week.’’
If there’s any jockey out there that revels in a big race atmosphere it’s Boss.
He may be 50 now but he thrives on winning the majors, he’s won 83 Group 1s, as was evident when he guided Kolding to victory in the Group 1 Epsom Handicap earlier this month.
And while he’s watched the first two TAB Everests from afar he’s already seen what it’s done to shake up racing not only in Sydney but nationally, and internationally, and can only hope it continues to.
“You know something special is going to happen, I’m a big believer in what Peter (V’landys) has done,’’ Boss said.
“I hope Sydney embraces this race. It’s created so much interest in the younger generation.
“The prizemoney is huge and they are all attracted to it. If they come out to see it for one day they’ll come back every time and that’s the sort of event it will be.’’
Yes Yes Yes impressed Boss with his gallop between races at Randwick last Saturday, the jockey remarked he had a ‘goosebumpy’ feeling as he sailed over the ground.
Boss has never won the Caulfield Cup and gave up a chance to correct that omission from his CV to partner the Chris Waller-trained colt and the significance of that decision, whether he would have ridden the favourite or just a chance down south, shouldn’t be underestimated.
“If you think you can only run midfield at best in the Everest you’d go down there,’’ Boss said.
“I had some offers but it came down to I think I can win the Everest. What swayed me is if I didn’t ride that horse in the Everest and he won I’d be filthy.
“Not being part of the day, and with the prizemoney on offer, it would have hurt me.’’
In the short history of the TAB Everest two three-year-olds have tried their luck against the nation’s best sprinters and, coincidentally, both have finished in fifth place behind Redzel.
Tulip, a filly, was rated 84 heading into the inaugural Everest while last year Graff had a 94 rating. Yes Yes Yes, on the back of a second in the Group 1 Golden Rose, is the highest rated three-year-old to contest the race to date on 96.
“He’s better than those two and the ratings will tell you that, and he will be a better horse than them,’’ Boss said.
“He gets 5.5 kilos and there’s every chance he is on an upward spiral. He’s had a hard run over 1400m and is coming back to six (furlongs), blinkers on.
Two of @cwallerracing’s #TheTABEverest horses, Yes Yes Yes and Arcadia Queen, have just galloped @royalrandwick. @LizzieJelfs caught up with @boss_glen after the gallop to hear about Yes Yes Yes… pic.twitter.com/AQUsPT6b8O
— Sky Racing (@SkyRacingAU) October 12, 2019
“He is a good three-year-old, he’s been highly touted from a very young age.
“Chris wouldn’t put him in unless he genuinely thought he could run top three. There’s Coolmores and other races that these horses can run in so he thinks the horse can win.’’
Boss says competition is great for racing nationally and as far as the race itself is concerned there’s no shortage of competition on the track and that pumps him up as much as the prospect of winning it.
“If you forget the money, just concentrate on the race itself, there’s a lot of things going on,’’ he said.
“Santa Ana Lane is going to improve after his first-up run, Kris Lees’ mare going in first-up and the old boy (Redzel) going for his third one.
“There’s so many different angles and now we have a three-year-old in it with the weight difference and the three-year-olds are rated very highly this year.
“There’s different form lines, it’s really exciting and it’s been exciting even before the event.’’
Yes Yes Yes is rated $11 with TAB prior to the barrier draw.