Trainer Chris Waller believes that Boban is the class horse in the 2014 George Ryder Stakes field, but admits that the triple Group 1 winner will be a risk on a heavy track at Rosehill Gardens this weekend.
Boban started his 2014 Sydney Autumn Racing Carnival campaign with relatively disappointing performances in the Group 2 Expressway Stakes (1200m) and Group 2 Apollo Stakes (1400m), but returned to his best form with an upset win over It’s A Dundeel in the Group 1 Chipping Norton Stakes (1600m) at Warwick Farm on March 8.
Waller said that Boban has trained on strongly following his Chipping Norton Stakes win, but believes that there is a question mark about the son of Bernardini’s ability to handle a rain affected track.
“He is the class act in terms of form, fitness and where he is at,” Waller said.
“He is the one to beat in my opinion.
“He would be suspect on a bad track though; anything on the worse side of slow to heavy he is going to be a big risk.
“His work has been terrific since winning the Chipping Norton.”
Boban and Red Tracer have dominated the headlines in the lead-up to the 2014 George Ryder Stakes, but Waller will also be represented in the Group 1 event by Sacred Falls and My Kingdom Of Fife.
Sacred Falls returned to the races with a fourth place finish behind Appearance in the Group 1 Canterbury Stakes (1300m) at Royal Randwick on March 15 and is a proven performer on a wet track after winning the Group 1 Doncaster Mile (1600m) on a very muddy track last year.
Waller is expecting a big effort from Sacred Falls and said that he is excited to see how the son of O’Reilly performs on Saturday.
“There was a lot to like about his first run,” Waller said.
“He is a class galloper, he has won a Doncaster and a Guineas in New Zealand, and he is an exceptional horse that has come back stronger this preparation.
“We are looking forward to seeing how he runs on Saturday and I think that he is in for a good prep.
“He has a good draw, a good jockey on board and his work has been excellent.”
My Kingdom Of Fife returned to the races for the first time in over two and a half years in the Canterbury Stakes and was beaten by six lengths, but far from disgraced.
Waller is confident that My Kingdom Of Fife has the ability to win a big race during the 2014 Sydney Autumn Racing Carnival and is hoping to see an improved effort from the veteran gelding in the George Ryder Stakes tomorrow.
“My Kingdom Of Fife is fitter thanks to that first-up run and his condition is just terrific,” Waller said.
“He is probably one run away from his best, so it would be nice to see him finish mid-field and that would suggest that he is well on target to winning another nice race in the not too distance future.”
Waller is chasing his fourth win in the George Ryder Stakes after previously winning the race with Danleigh (2010), Rangirangdoo (2011) and Metal Bender (2012).