Boban will step-up to 2000 metres for the first time in the 2014 Queen Elizabeth Stakes on Saturday and trainer Chris Waller is hoping that the Royal Randwick will improve ahead of the $4 million Group 1 event.
Waller scratched Boban from the Group 1 Doncaster Mile (1600m) last weekend because he did not want to run the son of Bernardini on a heavy track, but the leading Sydney trainer is not concerned that the triple Group 1 winner will be having his first race start since he finished seventh in the Group 1 George Ryder Stakes (1500m) at Rosehill Gardens on March 29.
“He just can’t quicken in the heavy going and it takes away his brilliance,” Waller told TVN.
“It was never our intention to run him in the Doncaster and that made it a little bit easier as well; it was always our plan to go three weeks from the George Ryder into the Queen Elizabeth and we just stuck to that plan basically.
“My biggest concern was getting the horse to settle this coming Saturday and I thought that running in the Doncaster would give us a chance to just take the edge off so to speak.
“I also thought that if we stuck a good track on Doncaster Day and a wet track Queen Elizabeth Day, we would be in trouble.
“As it worked out it was a very heavy track and hopefully it improves for Queen Elizabeth Day.”
Boban finished the 2013 Spring Racing Carnival with five straight victories, including narrow wins in both the Group 1 Epsom Handicap (1600m) at Royal Randwick on October 5 and Group 1 Emirates Stakes (1600m) at Flemington on November 9, but made a slow start to his autumn preparation.
The four-year-old resumed with a lackluster fifth place finish in the Group 2 Expressway Stakes (1200m) at Royal Randwick on February 8 and was well-beaten again by Appearance in the Group 2 Apollo Stakes (1400m) at the same venue on February 22.
Boban returned to his best form with a strong victory over It’s A Dundeel and Hawkspur in the Group Chipping Norton Stakes (1600m) at Warwick Farm on March 8, but was never able to get into the race on a slow track in the George Ryder Stakes.
Boban is currently on the fourth line of 2014 Queen Elizabeth Stakes betting markets, at a quote of $8.50, with Carlton House ($3.50) a narrow favourite from Silent Achiever ($4.60) and It’s A Dundeel ($6).