Michael Lee – Singapore Turf Club
The news is out. Glen Boss is cutting short his Singapore stint.
The Australian jockey broke the news on Australian radios on Thursday morning that he was coming home after Singapore’s biggest racing event of the year, the Kranji Mile meeting on May 25.
To some, the writing was on the wall when the three-time Melbourne Cup-winning rider (Makybe Diva in 2003, 2004 and 2005) let in during other earlier interviews to the Australian media he would like to retire in his home state of Queensland one day.
It wasn’t a dead-set giveaway he was leaving Kranji just yet, but Bossy has in the end walked the talk. He has indeed called it quits after calling Kranji home for the last three years, citing personal reasons for his decision.
It may be a sudden decision to the world, but the 49-year-old said he had been mulling over the idea for a while.
“I’ve been thinking about it for a while. It’s been three years since I’ve been here and I’ve really enjoyed it, but I had to go, and it’s for personal reasons,” said Boss, who ironically, had his best day at the office in Singapore on Sunday with his first Kranji four-timer (Big Regards, Tigress, Circuit Mission and Calculation).
“Singapore has actually prolonged my career. I was getting sick and tired of all the travelling and the daily grind back home, I’ve done this all my life – and Singapore was a good alternative.
“Singapore has been good to me. I really like living here – I love the lifestyle, it’s clean and safe, and you ride only twice a week.
“I’ve lived in many countries before, mainly Hong Kong and Japan, and Singapore is the best place I’ve ever lived in.
“The racing has been good, at times up and down, but I’ve enjoyed it. I’ll definitely miss the people here, especially the friendly locals like Leslie Khoo, Benny Woodworth – there are too many to name all of them.
“All Group 1s were highlights but if I had to pick one, it would be Lim’s Cruiser’s win in last year’s Lion City Cup, just for the build-up to the win and the way he won.”
Boss could have actually carried on riding for another month beyond the Kranji Mile as his current licence expires on June 30, but he decided to leave earlier for selfless reasons.
“My six-month licence was coming to an end and I had to renew, but at the same time, I didn’t want to disappoint someone else who applied,” said Boss.
“I saw no reason why I wouldn’t be renewed, but if I had waited till June to leave, it could have taken someone else’s spot.
“I didn’t want to put myself in such a position and that’s why I informed the Chief Stipe Mr Terry Bailey around two weeks ago.”
Boss said he would return to his previous backyard, Melbourne, as a starting point, and then look at Brisbane for opportunities further down the road.
“I’m going back to Melbourne for a start. I’ll be starting afresh, but obviously, I will try and reconnect with the trainers who supported me last time and still gave me rides at my regular visits when I was in Singapore,” said Boss who, at one such jaunt, claimed his seventh Doncaster Mile with Brutal for Hawkes Racing at Randwick on April 6.
“I don’t think I’ll take much of a break as I’m still fit, I feel great and have no health issues. I’ll just keep working and I think I’ll probably get right back into it.
“I might also go to the Winter Carnival in Brisbane. I may have a nice ride in the Stradbroke and Chris Waller has a few nice three-year-olds as well.
“It’ll be interesting times as I’m going back when the racing industry is airborne. The prizemoney in Australia has become so good it’s ridiculous.
“From afar, it was hard to ignore how well Australian racing is going.”
For now, it’s business as usual for Bossy as he goes about doing the weekly routine of trackwork and barrier trials at Kranji while waiting for the last four meetings he will ride at, including the big triple-Group 1 night in two Saturdays’ time.
“I’ve got three handy rides in the three big races. Countofmontecristo in the Kranji Mile, Gingerella in the Lion City Cup and Siam Vipasiri in the Singapore Guineas,” said Boss.
“Countofmontecristo’s trial was super on Tuesday, he’s flying, Gingerella is an up-and-coming mare taking on the big boys, and I think the filly Siam Vipasiri can bounce back with the blinkers on.
“It’d be nice to end with a bang!”
Boss’s fans can rest assured that win, lose or draw at his farewell meeting, it won’t really be farewell for good.
“I’d like to come back for the big races. I’d like to ride Circuit Mission in the Derby,” said Boss in reference to the Lee Freedman-trained Irish-bred four-year-old whose win in the Class 2 race over 1800m was one pin of his four-timer on Sunday.
“I’m not shutting the door on Singapore. If things work out back home, I may even come back for another long-term stay.”
Boss currently has 154 winners to his Singapore tally, with the bulk (137) coming at his last three years (2016-2019). Unknown to many, Boss rode three winners at Bukit Timah in 1996. He then rode his first winner at Kranji in 2007, followed by 13 winners between 2005 and 2013, including the Singapore Gold Cup aboard Risky Business for Steven Burridge in 2010, and 10 winners of which were recorded at a short three-month contract in 2011.
The 2010 Singapore Gold Cup was to be the first of 11 feature races Boss went on to rack up at Kranji, with another four at Group 1 level – the Queen Elizabeth II Cup with Laughing Gravy (2016), two Patron’s Bowls with Well Done (2016) and Alibi (2017) and the Lion City Cup (2018) with Lim’s Cruiser.