Three times Group 1 winner Boban is on track for his return for the Autumn Carnival with an impressive Rosehill barrier trial win this morning.
Regular rider Glyn Schofield settled Boban just off the speed and let the five year old extend in the straight to record a one and a quarter lengths wins in the 900m trial in the time of 53.4 secs.
Schofield was very happy with the trial and even though the five year settled closer to the pace than usual, he was happy with the way he went to the line.
“He trialled really well. He was still a little bit anxious in the stalls, he had to have man up with him which is something new but he certainly hit the line pretty well,” Schofield told Racing HQ.
“Very happy with the way he is coming through his trials. Chris’ horses generally don’t win their trials.”
“He sat a little handier than he has done in the past but none the less he was relaxed and got to the line full of running.”
That was Boban’s second trial this preparation and leading trainer Chris Waller will have him fairly forward in condition when he resumes after finishing fifth in an 800m trial at Warwick Farm on January 8.
Boban is booked to resume in the Group 2 $200,000 Expressway Stakes (1200m) at Rosehill on January 31 as he prepares to defend his title in the Group 1 $500,000 Chipping Norton Stakes (1600m) at Warwick Farm on February 28 after he defeated It’s A Dundeel and stablemate Hawkspur last year.
The Waller trained gelding was in dynamic form during the 2013 Spring Carnival with Group 1 wins in the $500,000 The Star Epsom (1600m) at Randwick and in the $1m Emirates Stakes (1600m) at Flemington.
But his form tapered off after his Chipping Norton Stakes win with six unplaced runs including four during last year’s Spring Carnival and Schofield conceded that he was well below his best.
“He wasn’t travelling well enough to run into the gaps that were there and of course they are only there periodically, they close,” Schofield said.
“Chris has given him a nice freshen up and he feels good underneath me.”
“He will probably stay in Sydney. We all know that he is not fond of wet tracks and I’m sure Chris has got his program mapped out.”
Even though a start in the Group 1 $3m Doncaster Mile (1600m) at Randwick on April 4 isn’t confirmed, Boban is well up in the market order with Ladbrokes.com.au at $15 with Hong Kong star Able Friend heading the early betting at $6.