Boss to play the hunter than the hunted in Derby
Alibi aims to be first to win all three legs of the Singapore 4YO Challenge
Glen Boss finds himself caught in a dilemma which is not too dissimilar from the one he faced around Singapore Derby time last year.
The top Australian jockey won the Group 1 Patron's Bowl (1,600m) on Well Done last year, but decided to stick to Mr Spielberg whom he also won with at his last start.
As it turned out, Boss pulled the wrong rein. Well Done went on to land the Group 1 Emirates Singapore Derby with Michael Rodd astride, while Mr Spielberg ran on late for fourth place.
The protagonists have changed one year on, but Boss is in a deja-vu situation.
He has won the first two legs of the Singapore Four-Year-Old Challenge with ALIBI, but a nagging doubt remains about his ability to complete a historic clean sweep: Can he see out the 2,000m trip?
Boss thought Well Done was a borderline case for the Derby after the Patron's Bowl win, but he was ultimately proven wrong.
He again feels Alibi could have the same stamina query, even admitting to writing off the son of Darci Brahma as a Derby contender in the wake of his Patron's Bowl win.
But, in the cold light of day, mindsets are malleable, and he can only hope Alibi vindicates him as opposed to Mr Spielberg last year.
"This reminds me a bit of Well Done last year. I really thought Mr Spielberg was a better stayer, but I got it wrong," said Boss.
"Similarly for Alibi, I still think the 2,000m is a query, but he came through the run (Patron's Bowl) so well that I changed my mind about him not going to the Derby.
"He's really well and has come back super since his last race. He's in really good shape.
"He's an up-and-coming horse in a pretty commanding position right now. He's won both legs and people tend to forget that.
"In the Patron's Bowl, he looked the winner for a big majority of the race. He's got such a will to win. The distance is query but there are a lot of the other horses who are in the same boat.
"Whether he can see out the trip, we will find out on Sunday I guess but who's to say that he cannot stay?"
He acknowledges the last leg may prove one bridge too far for Alibi, but he has concocted a plan which may help him cross that bridge.
"I may ride him differently this time. In the Patron's Bowl, I bounced him out and he was always handy," said Boss.
"He's always the one to hit the lead and that's how he puts himself in a vulnerable position. I want him to be the one chasing them down this time instead of being the bunny.
"Every time they get to him, he just keeps putting his head in front. That's what he did in the Patron's Bowl, and I reckon, if there was another 100m to the race, he would still stick his head in front.
"That's why I think he has a good turn of speed. He will still be in a good spot but we will use that turn of speed to have the last crack at them this time."