Kiwi jockey Opie Bosson to replace Craig Williams aboard Volcanic Rock in JJ Atkins

The Phoenix winner Volcanic Rock will back-up on Saturday in the Group 1 JJ Atkins with co-trainer Adrian Bott confirming the two-year-old has bounced back into work and will have kiwi hoop Opie Bosson riding for the training partnership for the first time.

After fielding offers from Hong Kong, Newgate Farm have opted to race on for now with Bott saying he will have no problems seeing out the 1600m trip.

With Craig Williams forced to get to work early on Volcanic Rock in the Phoenix, Bott said the hunt was on for a strong jockey who could get the best out of him in the JJ Atkins.

“It is certainly his first ride for the partnership,” Bott said in reference to his training partnership with Gai Waterhouse.

“Henry Field (Newgate Farm) makes the final decision on behalf of the ownership so he was keen with his experience to give him a chance. The thinking was that he needs a good strong rider, he takes a good bit of encouragement the horse.

“It was a nice strong win from him on the weekend and there are no questions over him seeing out the 1600m.

“He just keeps raising the bar when we ask him to. He pulled up really well from the run on Saturday and he is one who handles the track.”

Volcanic Rock won The Phoenix last Saturday with Craig Williams. Picture: Trackside PhotographySource:Supplied

Volcanic Rock will be joined by stablemate and race favourite Converge, who had an unlucky run in the Sires’ Produce a fortnight ago.

After getting caught at the back of the field in the Sires’, Converge rattled home late but was unable to catch Tiger Of Malay.

Drawing barrier five this time around, Bott hopes he will be able to settle a little closer to the speed to put himself into the race.

“He is an interesting horse, he is tiny and would be the smallest horse in the field,” he said. “Something like Volcanic Rock would tower over him but he is all heart and ticker, just so genuine and tough.

“He has done excellent, we were very happy with the run and very happy with how he handled the track.

“It is good to see him take some improvement from the Sires.

“With the benefit of his last run, it was just enough to keep him up to the mark this time around – he wasn’t asked to do as much this week.”

Originally published asBosson ready to Rock for Waterhouse-Bott

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