Trainer Chris Waller has confirmed that the Group 1 Queen Elizabeth Stakes (2000m) at Royal Randwick on April 19 will be the major target for Boban during the 2014 Sydney Autumn Racing Carnival.
Boban has never previously raced over a distance greater than a mile and has recorded his two Group 1 victories over 1600 metres but Waller told TVN this morning, after Boban’s impressive barrier trial performance, that he would like to see if the four-year-old is capable of running a strong 2000 metres before a possible tilt at the 2014 Cox Plate (2040m).
“We are working towards the Queen Elizabeth; we want him relaxed to see if he is going to be a Cox Plate horse,” Waller said.
“He will be at the end of a preparation and it will be a good time to try him at 2000m rather than the Ranvet, which is much earlier.”
Boban is expected to start his autumn campaign in the Group 2 Expressway Stakes (1200m) at Royal Randwick on February 8 and could contest the Group 2 Apollo Stakes (1400m) at the same venue two weeks later before returning to Group 1 level in the Group 1 Chipping Norton Stakes (1600m) at Warwick Farm on March 8 and the Group 1 George Ryder Stakes (1500m) at Rosehill Gardens on March 29.
The one major race missing from that itinerary is the Group 1 Doncaster Mile (1600m) at Royal Randwick on April 12, which looks an ideal race for Boban who took out both the Group 1 Epsom Handicap (1600m) and Group 1 Emirates Stakes (1600m) during the 2013 Spring Racing Carnival.
It is not unprecedented for a horse to win both the Doncaster Mile and Queen Elizabeth Stakes in the same year, with champion mare More Joyous completing the double in 2012, and Waller said that a crack at the Group 1 event over the famous Royal Randwick mile was not out of the question for Boban.
“He is going to get a lot of weight in the Doncaster,” Waller said.
“It is still an option, it is worth a lot of money, and we are not just going to turn our back on it for the sake of running in the Queen Elizabeth.”
Waller is chasing his second straight win in both the Doncaster Mile and the Queen Elizabeth Stakes after winning the 2013 edition of both races with Sacred Falls and Reliable Man respectively.