Star Kiwi jockey Opie Bosson will likely miss this month’s Karaka Million, after an appeal against careless riding charges was unsuccessful.
The 40-year-old was hit with two suspensions for careless riding at Ellerslie on New Year's Day.
Sunday's marathon hearing went nearly three hours, before Bosson's plea was rejected. He will miss out on an opportunity to record his fifth consecutive win at New Zealand's richest race on January 23.
Missing the race could cost Bosson $50,000 in prizemoney and he can’t return to action until the Wellington Cup on January 30.
A "gutted" Bosson believes another appeal is still possible, but hasn’t decided whether to pursue that option.
"I'm a bit disappointed that I won't be there for the big night, but I'll be back bigger and stronger for next year," he tells Newshub.
"I've won it the last four years and to not be there on our biggest night is a pretty big kick in the guts really.
"I'll go home and have a talk to my wife, and sit down and think about things, but we'll just have to wait and see what happens."
COVID-19 quarantine demands will restrict Bosson's replacement to an NZ-based rider, but Te Akau principal David Elllis is confident they have a quality ready-made substitute in Danielle Johnson, who currently leads the riding premiership.
"We've still got some good riders in NZ available to us, but we haven't got this genius [Bosson] here to ride for us and he's won five of these million-dollar races for us in the last four years," Ellis says.
"We've got 4-5 options, but Danielle Johnson will certainly be riding some nice horses for us that night."