With movement of jockeys interstate almost at a complete standstill, a leading hoop from New Zealand is currently seriously weighing up his options with regard to carnival racing in Australia in the spring.
The riding options available to big race connections in Victoria has been further complicated with the three month ban that has been delivered to Jamie Kah, Ben Melham and Mark Zahra, and now gun New Zealand jockey Opie Bosson is eyeing a return to Australia, possibly in the near future
It has been reported that Bosson has already received offers to ride in Melbourne. He would have to quarantine in Australia should he decide to travel to north, but that appears to be an option which will become more attractive with each passing day if the current lockdown situation remains in play in New Zealand where Bosson only found out yesterday that, because of the apparent changes in the internal lockdown borders, he would not be allowed to ride at the big meeting at Te Rapa on Saturday where his book of rides would have included the multiple Group 1 winner Avantage.
“It’s very frustrating. I pay my rates in Waikato, I’m halfway between Pukekohe and Hamilton. I thought the whole way through that I’ve been Waikato-based,” Bosson told the New Zealand Racing Desk. However, the area Bosson lives in is listed as being under Auckland for the COVID-19 lockdown and he can’t leave the area without a special exemption.
Chief Stipendiary Steward John Oatham has confirmed the only way the jockeys from outside the designated Waikato area could ride in the area was with a government exemption.
Bosson has made overtures to his local MP to try to get an exemption to ride at Waikato on Saturday.
That decision, which is still pending, can be expected to have a big influence on Bosson’s decision making process as to what he will do next and just how quickly a move to Melbourne might come into the frame.