Triple Group 1 winner Boban is set to return to racing in the 2015 Expressway Stakes at Rosehill Gardens on January 31 after he performed strongly in a barrier trial at Warwick Farm this morning.
Boban contested the fourth barrier trial of the morning over 800 metres and missed the jump by about two lengths, but was quickly able to regain contact with the rest of the field and he worked home strongly under a heavy hold to finish fifth behind Joe Pride-trained Alias.
Regular jockey Glyn Schofield told TVN that he had been worried about the health of Boban since the Bernardini gelding bled when 11th in the Group 1 Queen Elizabeth Stakes (2000m) at Royal Randwick last year, but he said that he got a nice feel from the five-year-old and is happy with where he is at ahead of his 2015 Sydney Autumn Racing Carnival campaign.
“Sometimes they can take fright from it, over race and do things wrong from it, but I didn’t find him too anxious or worried,” Schofield said.
He’s in a good frame of mind, his downfall is that he panics.
“He worries about everything, so we don’t need him to be worrying about his health.
“He seems to be in a good frame of mind, so I’m very happy with that.
“He settled nicely and hit the line really strongly with no real pressure at all
“He feels pretty good.”
Boban is expected to return to racing in the Expressway Stakes and he will likely press on to the Group 2 Apollo Stakes (1400m) at Royal Randwick on February 14 before he defends his Group 1 Chipping Norton Stakes (1600m) title at Warwick Farm on February 28, while the Group 1 George Ryder Stakes (1500m) at Rosehill Gardens on March 21 and the Group 1 Doncaster Mile (1600m) on April 4 both loom as potential options for the enigmatic galloper.
The talented gelding was the star performer of the 2013 Spring Racing Carnival, taking out both the Group 1 Epsom Handicap (1600m) and Group 1 Emirates Stakes (1600m), but he was unable to replicate that effort during his spring campaign last year.
Boban returned to racing with a fast-finishing fourth in the Group 2 Missile Stakes (1200m), but he was slightly disappointing in the Group 1 Memsie Stakes (1400m) and Group 1 Makybe Diva Stakes (1600m) before he was sent to the spelling paddock after finishing ninth in the Epsom Handicap.