Opie could be key to Group One

Roger James is hoping Opie Bosson can re-establish himself as king of the NZ Bloodstock 1000 Guineas at Riccarton on Saturday.

James has engaged Bosson to ride Misstrum, his big hope in the $300,000 three-year-old fillies event.

It will be Bosson’s first ride on the Stratum filly, but he knows what it takes to win the 1000 Guineas. He won the feature in 2009 on Katie Lee, whom he had ridden to also win the 2000 Guineas earlier at the meeting, and he followed up with a win the next year aboard King’s Rose.

Misstrum has been ridden regularly by Leith Innes, who will take the mount on Saturday aboard Waterford, a stablemate of his Group I Sothy’s NZ 2000 Guineas winner Sacred Falls.

Lisa Allpress rode Misstrum in her first two starts, for placings at Ellerslie and Hastings, then Innes climbed aboard when winning the Listed Graeme Thomson Jewellers Great Northern Foal Stakes (1400m) at Ellerslie last May.

Misstrum resumed with a strong-finishing win in the Listed McLeans Soliloquy Stakes at Ellerslie on September 29 and Innes was also aboard when she finished eighth in the Gr.2 NZ Bloodstock Wellington Guineas last start.

“She lacked a bit of luck in the Wellington Guineas last time and I’ve put the blinkers on for Saturday,” said James. “She’s worked well and I’ve go no doubts about her getting the distance.”

James has won the 2000 Guineas, but has yet to succeed in the 1000 Guineas. “I’ve been placed a couple of times,” he said.

Meanwhile James says Silent Achiever, Full Of Spirit and He’s Remarkable, his three runners in Melbourne last weekend, are all heading to the paddock for a break.

“It’s the first time Silent Achiever has disappointed me,” he said. “I’d won the race twice previously and I was confident she would go well. I can find no reason for her disappointing run. She’s home in the paddock now and we’ll look to the autumn.

“As for Full Of Spirit, she didn’t have much luck on this trip and she’ll have a freshen-up. He’s Remarkable has become very colty and it’s likely he will be retired.”