Ace jockey Opie Bosson looks set for a return to racing at Te Rapa next week.
Bosson confirmed yesterday that he had quit Singapore racing and was planning to ride the Allan Sharrock-trained Shez Sinsational in tomorrow week's Foxbridge Plate (1200m) at Te Rapa.
A Singapore Turf Club statement said a family illness in New Zealand had prompted Bosson to relinquish his licence and return home.
While saying he wanted to be closer to his ill father, Bosson yesterday cited homesickness as the main reason for returning to New Zealand.
"Dad's been sick but he's a lot better now, but really I just missed the lifestyle back here," Bosson said from Pukekohe yesterday.
Bosson, whose partner is Pukekohe jockey Danielle Johnson, has plans to buy a small farm in the Franklin district and has a 14-hectare property under contract.
Bosson has ridden in Singapore since the beginning of the year, initially just for Kiwi trainers Bruce Marsh and Mark Walker, but in June he was granted a freelance licence through till the end of the year.
The 32-year-old rode 18 winners during his stay in Singapore, among them the feature scalps of the Singapore Group Two Stewards' Cup on the Marsh-trained Gingerbread Man and the Singapore Group Three New Year Cup and the Polytrack Mile Championship aboard the Walker-trained Flying Fulton.
"It went OK. I didn't get a lot of winners but I had a good time and it broke up the winter," he said.
Bosson said he had spoken to Allan Sharrock and he was keen to renew his association with Shez Sinsational, whom he rode to win the Group Two Hollindale Stakes at the Gold Coast in May.
"Allan rang me last week and said he's getting her ready for Hastings later on and offered me the ride," Bosson said.
Sharrock said Shez Sinsational was coming to hand well ahead of her spring preparation, which has the Group One $300,000 Spring Classic (2040m) at Hastings on October 6 as her chief domestic target.
"She'll probably follow them around in the Foxbridge Plate as long as it's not an absolute bog," Sharrock said.
"I'd like to get two or three runs into her before the [Spring Classic] and that's one of the runs I'd like her to have. She's in great order but she's very fat.
"Opie's keen to get back on her, especially when the distances get a bit longer."
Sharrock said his tentative programme for Shez Sinsational was to progress from the Foxbridge Plate to the $40,000 1400m open handicap at Ellerslie on September 6, before tackling the Group One $200,000 Windsor Park Plate (1600m) at Hastings on September 22 and then the Spring Classic.
Shez Sinsational was not among the entries for the Caulfield Cup on October 20 and it was unclear whether the Ekraar mare would be entered for the Melbourne Cup at Flemington on November 6. Shez Sinsational has been the subject of a lease dispute but Sharrock is optimistic that he will have the mare until at least December.
- © Fairfax NZ News