By Ray Hickson
If there’s one man who knows how to handle the pressure and intricacies of a race like the TAB Everest it’s champion jockey Glen Boss.
The defending champ in the world’s richest race on turf, the $15m TAB Everest (1200m), Boss – certainly no stranger to winning major races in successive years - doesn’t have a reputation as one of the best grand final riders on the continent for no reason.
So what kind of game plan will Boss concoct to ride outstanding Godolphin four-year-old Bivouac at Royal Randwick on Saturday?
The somewhat tricky barrier (10) aside, Boss said a jockey’s instinct has to drive them because we all know what can happen to the best laid plans.
“There will be 12 of us in the race and we’ll all have different plans and scenarios and when the gates open I’m tipping eight of them will be out the window,’’ Boss said.
“Things happen you just don’t expect. You’ve got to go out there and ad lib a bit and know it is not going to be perfect, just free your mind and let it unfold in front of you.
“The worst thing you can do is think too much, you just react to what’s happening.
“When you start thinking the moment is gone. I’ve been doing it for so long, when the gates open it just becomes instinct. I just back myself that I’m going to make a lot of good decisions.”
It all panned out for Boss on Yes Yes Yes in the 2019 TAB Everest as the colt settled back behind a track record speed and exploded when asked to make his run.
Bivouac, Boss’ mount in Saturday’s renewal, had the measure of Yes Yes Yes in their two clashes last spring and Boss has made no secret about the fact he’s been keen to be on board in the TAB Everest for months.
Part of that desire stems from winning the Group 1 Newmarket Handicap on Bivouac earlier this year at his second run in the autumn.
“I wanted to get on him early and I spoke at length with James (Cummings) about his last preparation,’’ he said.
“It appears he has a pattern where his peak run is his second run.
“When he won the Newmarket there wouldn’t have been any sprinter in Australia that could have beaten him that day.
“On his day he is the best sprinter in Australia and I have to give him the opportunity to produce that. I have to make sure I get him in a good position, don’t disappoint him, because I know how good he is.”
Since his first-up third in the Group 2 Shorts (1100m) last month behind Classique Legend, Boss reconnected with Bivouac to win a trial at Warwick Farm last week.
Bivouac wins a trial at Warwick Farm on September 19
It’s going to take one of those vintage, big race, steers from Boss if Bivouac, $18 with TAB, is going to emulate the horse he had the measure of a year ago and challenge for the mantle of the premier sprinter.
The trial was exactly what Boss wanted to see and, true to his earlier statements, will now come up with how he thinks the race might be run but be fully aware he’ll probably need a Plan B,C,D and E.
“He wasn’t out there to do any time, all it was just to stretch his legs and feel good. He’s a magnificent colt,’’ he said.
“I haven’t thought about the race too much yet. I’ll have a bit of a thought process about how I want to get it done then let the race unfold.
“Wherever I think he is suited in the field I have to ride him for his very best asset. Having the horse underneath you is more than half the battle and that's good because I know what I’ve got.”