Darley colt Sarajevo and triple Group 1 winner Boban produced impressive performances in the third barrier trial over 850 metres at Royal Randwick this morning.
Fellow Darley galloper Engagement jumped from the gates well and took up the running in the early stages of the trial from Gai Waterhouse-trained Role Model, while talented sprinter Villa Verde was positioned in third.
Sarajevo was taken wide coming around the final turn and he responded strongly when asked for an extra effort to take out the barrier trial from Role Model and Boban weaved his way through the rest of the field to make up plenty of ground late.
Sarajevo made his racing debut with a comfortable victory in the Mossman At Vinery Handicap (1100m) at Randwick on April 21 and the performance was good enough to stamp him as a leading contender for both the Group 1 Golden Rose Stakes (1400m) at Rosehill Gardens on September 13 and the Group 1 Caulfield Guineas (1600m) at Caulfield on October 11.
Boban was contesting his second barrier trial this preparation, after finishing ninth behind Angel Bee in a trial at Rosehill Gardens on July 21 and looks as though he is on track to return to the races in either the Group 2 Warwick Stakes (1400m) at Royal Randwick on August 23 or the Group 1 Memsie Stakes (1400m) at Caulfield on August 30.
The Bernardini 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) and added to his Group 1 tally when he took out the Group 1 Chipping Norton Stakes (1600m) at Warwick Farm on March 8.
Trainer Chris Waller was hoping that Boban would be able to contest the Group 1 Cox Plate (2040m) during the 2014 Spring Racing Carnival, but he could instead defend his titles in the Epsom Handicap and Emirates Stakes.
Role Model joined the Gai Waterhouse stable at the start of her autumn campaign and made her Australian racing debut with a second place finish in the Group 3 Keith Nolan Classic (1600m) at Kembla Grange on March 23 before finishing eighth in the Group 3 Adrian Knox Stakes (2000m) at Royal Randwick on April 12.
The Bel Danoro mare made her Group 1 debut in the Group 1 Australian Oaks (2400m), but she tired badly in the final stages of the race to finish at the tail of the field.
Sarajevo is available at 2014 Golden Rose odds of $13 and Boban is at a quote of $17 in the 2014 Cox Plate betting market with Ladbrokes Australia.