Mercurial Melbourne Cup maestro Glen Boss has become so adept at being racing’s iceman he believes he can successfully will himself to win a big race from just about anywhere.
The three-time Melbourne Cup winner’s magic ability to be a big-race performer was honed by studying sport’s fellow major moment stars such as rugby league icon Allan Langer and motorcycle phenomenon Mick Doohan.
Some elite sportspeople melt on the big stage – Boss always wanted to be one who thrived when the sporting pressure-cooker was at its hottest.
It is much like Steve Waugh proving too canny at the bowling crease in the final over of a cricket one-dayer … or Wayne Carey kicking a match-winning goal in the dying seconds of an AFL blockbuster.
Glen Boss winning the last of Makybe Diva’s three Melbourne Cups in 2005. Pic: Getty Images.Source:Getty Images
Fifteen years after the last of his three consecutive Melbourne Cup wins on Makybe Diva, the 51-year-old riding great will attempt to snare the Cox Plate-Melbourne Cup double with Sir Dragonet.
“When I am in that positive spot in my mind I can almost talk myself into it – I can almost will myself to win a race from any position,” Boss told Racenet.
“It’s that powerful. Sometimes I get myself into a situation where I actually feel I just can’t get beat.
“Wanting to be a big-race performer was something I recognised in myself quite a while ago.
“I was a real studier when I was a kid and I used to love watching great athletes, the very best, I studied them a lot.
“I realised most of the great sportspeople have got many similar traits – they are going faster than anybody else but they look like they are going slower.
“They seem to have a lot more time.
“I used to watch blokes like Allan Langer and Mick Doohan, blokes who just seem to have the ability to do it at the right time all the time.
“They all seemed very calm and very relaxed.
“I taught myself through watching that stuff.”
Glen Boss after winning the Cox Plate. Pic: Racing Photos via Getty Images.Source:Getty Images
Boss rides Cox Plate winner Sir Dragonet in the Melbourne Cup, with the jockey aiming to add another to his three Melbourne Cups and emulate record-holding jockeys Bobby Lewis and Harry White with four Cup wins.
He has done the form study on his own runner and other contenders but his recipe for success is simple – don’t over-complicate things.
Incredibly, Boss revealed he did very little form work before Sir Dragonet surged to Cox Plate victory, simply trusting himself and his horse to get the job done.
“I hardly did any form for the Cox Plate,” Boss admits.
“I go into this spot for big races where I don’t even think.
“The more I think, I just get in my own way a little bit.
“And that’s especially the case in a race when you have to make a lot of decisions in a short time.
“If you are thinking too much you get it wrong.
“I just try and ride my horse for their very best asset.
“I don’t try to go out there and ride my horse to beat someone else or ride the bias on the day.
“Horses defy bias and they defy other things and if you ride your horse to the best of its ability and you get beat, well you can’t do any more.”
Glen Boss salutes after winning the 2005 Melbourne Cup on Makybe Diva. Pic: AP Photo.Source:News Regional Media
Boss still gravitates to watching big-match performers in other sports and, like many, was captivated by the Michael Jordan documentary The Last Dance.
He spent the night after winning the Cox Plate watching the AFL grand final in awe of Dusty Martin’s wizardry.
Remarkably, Boss insists his outwardly cool and composed nature is never a mask and that’s exactly how he will feel on Tuesday sitting in the gates on Sir Dragonet waiting for the starter to send them on their way.
“I’m just as calm as I appear,” Boss says.
“I sometimes get nervous on Melbourne Cup morning a little bit, not all the time, but they are good nerves.
“But by the time I come out to play, I am already locked in by then.
“When it comes to these big moments I am in a bit of shock myself of how it happens.
“But I do think what you project outwards is what you get back.”
Sir Dragonet ridden by Glen Boss wins the Cox Plate. Pic: Racing Photos via Getty Images.Source:Getty Images
As for his exuberant celebrations, which most recently cost him $1000 when he rose high in the stirrups before Sir Dragonet crossed the line in the Cox Plate, you can expect they will be repeated if he soars to Cup glory on Tuesday.
Boss wants to be his own man – and doesn’t give a hoot about any backlash on social media.
“A lot of sportspeople get smashed on social media for expressing themselves, so they just don’t do it because they just can’t handle the negative feedback,” Boss says
“But negative feedback on social media means nothing to me.
“These are not your friends, they are not your relatives.
“Back in the day, sportspeople were allowed to be whoever they wanted to be, as long as they got the job done.”
Ciaron Maher and Dave Eustace-trained Sir Dragonet is a $10 chance in the Melbourne Cup with TAB.
Boss missed the Melbourne Cup last year due to suspension with Joao Moreira taking the ride on Constantinople.
Sir Dragonet ridden by Glen Boss after winning the Cox Plate. Picture: SDP MEDIASource:Supplied
Originally published asWhy Bossy is racing’s iceman
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