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Mon 24 May 2021

By Jordan Gerrans

From a Class 3 Plate at Cairns’ Cannon Park to one of the favoured runners in the 2021 Stradbroke Handicap, even the legendary Glen Boss is getting swept up in The Harrovian’s whirlwind journey from obscurity to stardom.

The 51-year-old champion jockey was earlier this week confirmed to be riding the Toby and Trent Edmonds-trained gelding come Stradbroke Day of the 2021 TAB Queensland Winter Racing Carnival.

Speaking on Monday morning before a Racing Queensland education session with apprentice jockeys at Deagon (pictured), the great Boss admits the amazing tale of The Harrovian’s rise through the grades played a part in his decision to ride the cult hero.

It was only just over two years ago that The Harrovian was winning a Class 3 Plate at Cairns’ Cannon Park and now he is on the third line of betting for the $1.5 million Group 1 Stradbroke Handicap.

The three-time Melbourne Cup-winning rider has seen The Harrovian’s fan club in person when he wins and Boss wouldn’t mind being apart of it in a few weeks’ time.

“He is a super popular horse because he wins a lot, everyone loves a winner, his record speaks for itself,” Boss said.

“It would be wonderful to win a Stradbroke on a horse like him, being our major race in Queensland.

“To win on a horse with a cult following, it would be wonderful.

“I have met Tom Hedley and the team behind the horse on the Gold Coast, they were very excited – just their excitement in their faces, I could imagine what it would be like if they were to win the Stradbroke.”

Following his gallant fifth-placed finish in the 2021 All-Star Mile in Melbourne, Big H ran a fantastic race first-up earlier this month, beaten just under a length in the Group 1 Doomben 10,000, which sparked Boss’ interest in the north Queensland Cups king.

The former Stephen Massingham-trained gelding flashed home for third behind winner Eduardo, after being ninth at the 400-metre mark.

The Harrovian goes to 1400 metres in the Stradbroke second-up, a distance he won at on four different occasions last year.

“His first run back was what stood out for me, in the Doomben 10,000, it was very, very good,” Boss said.

“Obviously he is going to drop a lot of weight going into the Stradbroke.

“He has a wonderful record; he is an older horse who has an amazing record.

“He is going to head into the Stradbroke with a reasonably light weight, in a Stradbroke that is going to be pretty winnable this year, he is going to be one of the three or four chances.”

If The Harrovian could claim the Stradbroke next month, it would be a second for the legend Boss after riding Private Steer to victory in 2003.

It would also make it the second in a row for owner Hedley and the Edmonds team, after the Tolga Tornado “Tyzone” claimed the race last year.

“It’s a real good booking,” Hedley told The Courier Mail. 

“I’m not sure if he (Boss) has been on one of my horses before.

“He is working the house down they keep saying.

“They say he will be around 53kg but the problem is that he is around 35th in pecking for the race (Stradbroke) and the handicapper said around 10 to 20 per cent of them don’t accept.

“It comes down to him getting a run now. His rating is high enough but it is a matter of getting into the race now. Tyzone won with 53kg last year.”

The Harrovian is edging closer to the $1 million mark in prize money on the back of his 17 career wins.

The Harrovian is rated a $13 chance to win the Stradbroke with the TAB as Ayrton is the $3.50 favourite.