From the Commentary Box – Monday, 18th November 2013

It was interesting to see how two major races played out last Saturday.

The result of both the One Thousand Guineas and the Tauranga Stakes were greatly influenced by two very good rides.


At Riccarton, the One Thousand Guineas at Group One level, was an intriguing affair.

Pre race favourite Bounding, had to undergo a veterinary examination at the starting gates, prior to the start.

The brilliant Matamata filly who had dominated the pre race discussions after some dashing recent displays, became fractious in her stall while waiting for the others to load.

Whether or not that incident caused her defeat, is debateable.


Personally, I think it may have been a contributing factor.

As usual Bounding jumped well and was quickly in front for regular rider Mark Du Plessis.

However as a couple of rivals kicked up on her inside, Du Plessis elected to take a trail and attempted to ease his mount in behind the leaders.


Unfortunately, another couple of riders seized the opportunity to park the favourite three wide, where she stayed for the remainder of the race.

Even after sitting three wide, Bounding still looked the winner with 200m to go.

However, eventual winner Costa Viva, ridden by Leith Innes, appeared on the scene to grab Bounding over the final stages.


To my way of thinking, I thought Bounding over raced throughout the race, fired up by having to undergo the pre race vet exam.

And I thought that was the major contributing factor to her loss.

Sure, sitting three wide in an eight horse field didn’t help, but the fact she wouldn’t settle was a significant one.


Du Plessis was the victim of circumstances.

If he had elected to go to the front with Bounding, I think she would have still over raced.

In all probability, Costa Viva would have still beaten her because Costa Viva would have still had the last run at her.

While Du Plessis was rueing his luck, Leith Innes couldn’t believe his aboard the winner.

“We got a beautiful run and I could see Bounding had had a tough run so I was confident of winning at the home turn” said Innes.

Innes underplayed his role in the success of Costa Viva.


If you get the opportunity to watch the replay of the race, Innes was instrumental in Bounding racing three wide without cover.

Once he summed up that Bounding couldn’t get in any closer, he then eased Costa Viva in behind Bounding so he could ride home on her back.

It was a brilliant piece of tactical riding.


As was the ride of Opie Bosson, aboard Survived, at Tauranga.

Again Bosson showed why he is one of the best riders we have ever produced with a ten out of ten ride.


Run under Weight For Age conditions, the Tauranga Stakes was always going to be a battle of wits with just six runners entered.

In the end it was Bosson’s superior tactical ride which made the difference.

Riding to instructions, Bosson eased Survived back to the tail of the small field at the start.

However after 250m, the leaders eased the pace and it looked like a walking race.

It was then that Bosson grabbed the race by the scruff of the neck, shooting Survived forward to lead shortly after.

From there Survived held out all challengers to score from Viadana.


As usual Bosson deflected the praise onto his mount.

“They started to walk in front and I thought I’d go forward and once we found the front my horse relaxed nicely” said Bosson.


However John Bary, the trainer of Survived, was effusive in his praise of Bosson.

“I told Opie to ride him cold and let him have the last run at them” said Bary.

“But he summed up what was happening and rode a beautifully judged race …..that’s why he’s the best in the business” added Bary.


I’ll catch you next week.