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Boban Headlines 2013 Emirates Stakes Final Field

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Chris Waller-trained Bobanwill have the opportunity to record his fifth straight victory this preparation when he takes on a strong 2013 Emirates Stakes field at Flemington on Saturday.

Boban is chasing his second Group 1 victory in the 2013 Emirates Stakes at Flemington on Saturday.

Boban is chasing his second Group 1 victory in the 2013 Emirates Stakes at Flemington on Saturday. Photo by: Race Horse Photos Australia

Boban has taken all before him during the 2013 Spring Racing Carnival but will need to be at his best to carry 57kg to victory against an impressive Emirates Stakes field that includes Group 1 winners Solzhenitsyn, Sacred Falls and Linton as well as European-trained contenders Mull Of Killough and Havana Gold.

Boban started his preparation with a strong win in the James McCall Retirement Handicap (1300m) before stamping himself as one of the leading contenders for the Group 1 Epsom Handicap (1600m) with a dominant four lengths victory in the Group 3 Bill Ritchie Handicap (1400m).

The Bernardini gelding came from the back of the field to narrowly deny Streama in the Epsom Handicap and extended his winning streak to four straight victories when he weaved his way through the rest of the field in the Group 3 Moonga Stakes (1400m) at Caulfield.

Solzhenitsyn has already recorded a victory at Group 1 level during the 2013 Spring Racing Carnival, winning the Toorak Handicap (1600m) for the second year in a row, and will be looking to bounce back to his best form after finishing at the tail of the field in the Group 1 Mackinnon Stakes (2000m) at Flemington last Saturday.

Jockey Nash Rawiller reported after the race that Solzhenitsyn made a respiratory noise during the Mackinnon Stakes but a veterinary examination after the race found no abnormalities and trainer Robert Heathcote will apply a tongue tie to the veteran gelding to avoid him choking down.

Arguably the most interesting runner in the 2013 Emirates Stakes field is Mikel Delzangles-trained Havana Gold who has been brought to Australia specifically for the $1 million Group 1 event at Flemington on Saturday.

Havana Gold has competed at Group 1 level on a number of occasions in Europe in the past year and broke through for his first victory at the highest level of racing when he won the Prix Jean Prat (1600m) in France at the end of 2013.

The Teofilo entire has impressed since arriving at the International Equine Centre in Werribee just over three weeks ago and work strongly over a mile with leading English jockey Jamie Spencer, who will ride the four-year-old on Saturday, on board this morning.

Another horse making their Australian racing debut in the Emirates Stakes will be David Hayes-trained import Stipulate who was previously prepared in the United Kingdom by deceased legendary trainer Sir Henry Cecil.

Stipulate will be making his Group 1 debut on Saturday but has previously performed well at Group level; finishing fourth behind Penitent and Side Glance in the Group 2 Nayef Joel Stakes (1609m) and second in the Group 2 Celebration Mile (1609m).

The 2013 Emirates Stakes final field is packed full of talent and also includes: Group 1 winners Sacred Falls and Linton, Sale Cup winner Mouro, the rejuvenated Smokin’ Joey and Crystal Mile winner Toydini.

About The Author

Thomas Hackett

Thomas is a passionate and opinionated racing journalist and punter who has been obsessed with horse racing since he backed Saintly to win the 1996 Melbourne Cup. An international racing enthusiast, he has his finger on the pulse of racing news not just from Australia but all around the world.

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