Glen Boss by name and certainly boss of the group I Doncaster Handicap by nature as the champion rider, who now lives in Hong Kong, swept away his fifth Doncaster with a faultless display aboard the brilliant 3-year-old Triple Honour at Royal Randwick April 26.
It was a week ago last Saturday when Boss landed the chocolates aboard Sebring in the world's richest 2-year-old race, the AAMI Golden Slipper Stakes (Aust-I). He had flown in from Hong Kong that day, and was gone that evening.
Fast-forward seven days and he's done it again, this time in the $1.8-million one-mile race conducted on heavy turf.
"This feeling is out of this world," he said. "You know they say there are the 'big four' races in Australia—the Melbourne Cup, the Caulfield Cup, the Golden Slipper, and the Cox Plate. Well I reckon we should change that to five as every jockey wants to ride a Doncaster winner," said Boss. "And while I assume my record of five wins in the race will be broken one day, I am happy to now hold the record of having ridden more Doncaster winners than any other jockey."
And no rider could have piloted Triple Honour (Honours List—Myrrh) better.
This was the young horse who took the wonder freak Weekend Hussler right to the wire in the group I Randwick Guineas over this course and distance a month ago. Half an inch separated them that day on level weights. Weekend Hussler came out and brained them in the group I Ryder Stakes last week, so it was no surprise to see a flood of money for Triple Honour in this race. He started second favorite in the end as money just kept pouring in for him.
"And he traveled beautifully throughout," claimed Boss, who praised trainer Chris Waller on his debut group I winner. "I was going along nicely parked behind them in mid-field coming to the bend, but he just exploded through the gap when I asked him to let down. He's pretty exciting."
Triple Honour roared two lengths clear of the pursuing pack at the furlong pole, but his lead was whittled down to a long neck by the hard-finishing runner-up Casino Prince (by Flying Spur), himself a group I mile winner two starts back and who last week chased home Weekend Hussler in the Ryder.
"And we were very unlucky," said his rider, Damien Oliver. "We didn't get out until the last 100 meters, so his effort was stunning."
Third home was Pinnacles, who came from near enough to last on the home bend to grab third after following the passage Triple Honour had woven through the field in the home stretch.
There were 20 starters in the Doncaster this year on a wet track, and there were some excuses. Fourth-place finisher was group I winner Sniper's Bullet, who had to sit four- and five-wide throughout.
"I just couldn't get in, and his effort to grind home into fourth was extremely good," said his rider, Hugh Bowman.
The outstanding twice group I-placed 3-year-old filly Serious Speed (by Royal Academy) was fifth and she made up a huge amount of ground over the final furlong having had just two behind her coming to the bend. When rider Craig Newitt angled her into the clear with just over a furlong left to run, she sprouted wings. "The barrier didn't help us and I don't think she liked the track being that heavy today," Newitt said.
But the bulk of the accolades go to Triple Honour and his 34-year-old trainer Waller, who is about to launch his career into the stratosphere. He has just been named the new trainer of Bob Ingham's racing empire—his brand new, yet-to-race empire—after having sold his old racing stock to Darley two months ago for a half-billion dollars.
Last week at the Inglis Easter sale, Ingham began rebuilding his racing stock by spending $18.5 million on yearlings, and Waller will train them all starting later this year.
"Words cannot describe how I feel right now," Waller said as he looked at his stable star and pondered the future.
Triple Honour has now won five of his nine starts for his owners, P. Ng, J. Lee, and K. Li. And he has bankrolled them to the tune of Aus$1,375,400 (about U.S.$1.25 million) in purses thus far.