A bungled start added to the merit of the performance of multiple Group1 winner Boban after he finished a closing fourth to Sweet Idea in the Group 2 $175,000 McGrath Estate Agents Missile Stakes (1200m) at Randwick last Saturday.
Boban’s regular rider Glyn Schofield wasn’t happy after the race when he reported that he had yelled at the starter that the Chris Waller trained gelding was fractious in the starting stall and wasn’t set.
But the field was released and Boban staggered out of the gates a clear two lengths behind the rest of the field.
“He was propping in the barriers and the starter wasn’t happy to wait much longer and let us go when we weren’t ready,” told AAP.
“He didn’t give us the opportunity to start on level terms because we were on our back legs.”
“At that distance and tempo he was too far out of his ground to win.”
Boban was then a conspicuous last until the home turn when Schofield started to search for the way clear but continually ran into trouble until about the 150m when the five tear old finally found some daylight.
The three time Group 1 winner then produced his trademark flashing finish to make up at least four lengths down the outside of the nine horses field to be beaten less than a length by the Gai Waterhouse trained Sweet Idea.
Schofield explained to Stewards that Boban had trouble securing clear running in the straight when caught up behind middle distance horses Laser Hawk and Hawkspur and added to his woes, the experienced jockey then got his whip tangled in the offside rein at the 100m when attempting to change whip hands.
Last week Boban was crowned the best miler of the year and NSW racehorse of the year and his 1600m record speaks for itself with three wins from three attempts at that distance at Group 1 level.
The Bernardini gelding scored his initial Group 1 win in the 2013 $500,000 The Star Epsom (1600m) at Randwick in October and followed that up with a win in the Group 1 $1m Emirates Stakes (1600m) at Flemington on the final day of the Melbourne Cup Carnival.
And back to 1600m during this year’s Sydney Autumn Carnival Boban produced his trademark flying finish to take out the Group 1 $500,000 Chipping Norton Stakes at Warwick Farm on March 8.
Waller will stick to the formula throughout the Spring Carnival and select suitable weight for age races over the metric mile for Boban who was having his first run since finishing eleventh to It’s A Dundeel in the Group 1 $4m Longines Queen Elizabeth Stakes (2000m) at Randwick on April 19 when he bled.
“Boban bled in the Queen Elizabeth Stakes so we are going to take him along quietly and keep him to races up to a mile,” Waller said.
“He will probably target the weight-for-age miles and might need a couple of runs to find his best.”
Races that fall into this category during the Sydney Spring Carnival are the Group 2 WFA $175,000 Chelmsford Stakes (1600m) at Randwick on September 6 and the Group 1 WFA $350,000 George Main Stakes (1600m) at Randwick on September 20.
While if Waller decides on a Melbourne Spring Carnival campaign, the weight for age Group 2 $250,000 Dato’ Tan Chin Nam Stakes (1600m) at Moonee Valley on September 6 and the weight for age Group 1 $400,000 Makybe Diva Stakes (1600m) at Flemington on September 13 also fall into that criteria.