Trainer Chris Waller will be ready to step Spring sensation Boban up to 2000m in the Group 1 $4m Queen Elizabeth Stakes at Randwick on April 19 during next year’s revamped Sydney Autumn Carnival.
Boban kept his Spring Carnival winning run intact with a breathtaking victory in the Group 1 $1m Emirates Stakes (1600m) at Flemington last Saturday and Waller can see the four year old having no trouble stepping up to 2000m in the Autumn.
“We will just start off in a weight for age path and carefully tread the water. Even The Queen Elizabeth, they are taking about being spruiked up and hopefully be a big prizemoney jump so it could be the right time to try him over 2000m there,” Waller aid after the Emirates Stakes win.
Boban also won the Group 1 $500,000 The Star Epsom (1600m) at Randwick on October 5 and those two Group 1 wins under handicap conditions will force Waller to target the major weight for age races in the Autumn as well as the Spring next year.
“And the Cox Plate is pretty enticing,” Waller added.
The $4m Queen Elizabeth Stakes is the highlight of the new showcase Sydney Autumn Carnival which will come under the banner of the Championships with $18.2 million in prizemoney on offer over the two days of the Randwick carnival.
The Group 1 Doncaster Mile (1600m) has also been boosted to $3 million while the Group 1 T J Smith (1200m) will carry prizemoney of $2.5 million to become Australian’s richest open sprint.
Racing New South Wales chairman John Messara said that while they were trying to gain world-wide recognition for the Sydney Autumn Carnival like Melbourne gets for its Spring Carnival, he doesn’t regard it as a competition between the two racing heavy weights.
“This is not some sort of competition with the Melbourne Cup or the Melbourne Cup carnival,” Messara told AAP.
“Ours will be more of a Sydney style. It’s a different culture but we hope to have the same impact over a period of time.
“Victoria has done a wonderful job to develop their carnival. Ours will be very much different.
“Every major racing jurisdiction has a major racing carnival that stimulates the economy. This will become the catalyst for a destination week for horse fanciers from around the world and people coming to the races for the first time.”
Top New Zealand trainer Murray Baker has also indicated that his multiple Group 1 winner It’s A Dundeel will be contesting the Queen Elizabeth Stakes and no doubt Gai Waterhouse will be targeting the 2000m weight for age race with her Melbourne Cup winner Fiorente.
“We’ll be going for it,” Baker told The Daily Telegraph.
It’s A Dundeel was beaten into second place behind the Chris Waller trained Reliable Man in this year’s Queen Elizabeth Stakes which was worth $500,000 and is hoping to go one better next year.