Hall Of Fame jockey Glen Boss is known for his animated celebratory gestures but the champion hoop will have another reason to cheer when he marks 35 years in the saddle at Rosehill.
Boss had his first race ride at Gympie on December 6, 1985.
The three-time Melbourne Cup-winning rider spent his first year predominantly competing on the south east Queensland country sprint circuit, where most races were staged over 300 and 400 metres.
“For about the first twelve months of my career I didn’t see a blade of grass. They were all dirt tracks,” Boss said.
Boss has risen to become one of the best in his sport and he added to his resume this spring when he won the Cox Plate on Sir Dragonet.
He has four mounts at Rosehill on Saturday, including promising Godolphin colt Namazu in the De Bortoli Wines Handicap (1800m).
Boss said the son of Blue Diamond winner Earthquake, who ran an eye-catching fourth in the Spring Stakes at Newcastle last month, would be very competitive stepping up in distance and coming back in class.
“He’s shown good promise and the Godolphin stable has a high opinion of this horse,” Boss said.
“He’s getting up to 1800 metres for the first time and he’s down in the weights.
“I expect he’ll run very well.”
Boss is also engaged to ride the consistent Group Two-placed Express Pass in the Member’s Christmas Handicap (1100m) for Victorian trainer and former star apprentice Nick Ryan, who will make a rare trip to Sydney.
“Nick is a pretty smart young trainer, a very good judge and the horse would have been targeted for this race,” Boss said.
Boss will round out the meeting with rides on Strawberry Hill Stud’s Wild About Her and Bold And Wild, both mares being out of the John Singleton-owned 2010 AJC Oaks winner Once Were Wild.
The Kylie Gavenlock-trained Wild About Her returns from a spell in the Quincy Seltzer Handicap (1350m).
“She’s not a bad mare but I’m expecting she’ll be better second up,” Boss said.
“But this looks the right time of the year for her.”
Boss is expecting Bold And Wild to bounce back in the Rosehill Bowling Club Handicap (1200m) after the five-year-old was eased out of the race last start when he was found to be suffering from cardiac arrhythmia.
“You can ignore his last run,” Boss said.
“He’s trialled well and I expect him to be back in the ball park.”
Now 51, Boss has competed in over 20 000 races and barrier trials on five different continents during his illustrious career.
The proud Queenslander has ridden over 2300 winners and his horses have amassed in excess of $200 million in prize money.
But the star hoop has no thoughts of retirement.
“I still love it and you’re a long time retired,” Boss said.