Champion trainer Chris Waller will send multiple Group 1 winner Boban to Melbourne looking for some early Autumn Carnival glory in the Group 1 $500,000 C.F. Orr Stakes (1400m) at Caulfield on February 13.
For the last two seasons, Waller has campaigned Boban during the rich Sydney Autumn Carnival, but this year has opted to send the six year old back to Melbourne where he has already collected two Group 1 trophies with wins in the 2013 $1m Emirates Stakes (1600m) at Flemington and in the 2015 $400,000 New Zealand Bloodstock Memsie Stakes (1400m) at Caulfield.
Boban’s last two Autumn Carnival programs kicked off with the Group 2 $200,000 Expressway Stakes (1200m) at Randwick in 2014 and at Rosehill in 2015, followed by the Group 2 $250,000 Schweppes Apollo Stakes (1400m) at Randwick.
In 2014 Boban was able to take out the Group 1 $500,000 Chipping Norton Stakes (1600m) at Warwick Farm but the following year was only able to beat one runner home when fourteenth to the John O’Shea trained Contributer after having a torrid run.
“He will have a different autumn this year and will run in the C F Orr and the Futurity in Melbourne,” Waller said.
Waller has also selected the Group 1 $500,000 Futurity Stakes (1400m) for Boban at Caulfield a fortnight after the C.F. Orr Stakes.
Boban is already well into his Autumn Carnival preparation and was sent out for an easy barrier trial when sixth over 838m at Randwick on Tuesday.
Last Spring’s Memsie Stakes win was Boban’s fifth Group 1 victory, adding to his Group 1 wins in the 2013 $500,000 The Star Epsom (1600m) at Randwick, the 2013 Emirates Stakes, the 2014 Chipping Norton Stakes and the $750,000 James Boag’s Premium Doomben 10000 (1350m) at Doomben during the 2015 Brisbane Winter Carnival.
Boban looked like he was in for a very rewarding 2015 Spring Carnival with a first up win in the Memsie Strakse but his form tapered off with a fourth to Fawkner in the Group 1 $400,000 Makybe Diva Stakes (1600m) at Flemington on September 12 followed by a ninth of nine in the Group 1 $1m Darley Classic (1200m) down the Flemington straight on November 7.
Top Sydney jockey Glen Schofield has forged a very successful association with Boban, having been aboard the gelding for all his five Group 1 victories.