Trainer Chris Waller has revealed that he is happy enigmatic galloper Boban will reunite with regular jockey Glyn Schofield in the Group 1 Chipping Norton Stakes (1600m) at Warwick Farm on Saturday.
Schofield steered Boban to victory in all five of his race starts during the 2013 Spring Racing Carnival; taking out the Group 3 Bill Ritchie Handicap (1400m), Group 1 Epson Handicap (1600m), Group 3 Moonga Stakes (1400m) and Group 1 Emirates Stakes (1600m) in impressive fashion.
The veteran jockey missed the rides on Boban when he finished a disappointing fifth in the Group 2 Expressway Stakes (1200m) at Royal Randwick on February 8 and fourth in the Group 2 Apollo Stakes (1400m) at the same venue a fortnight later and Waller is hopeful that Schofield will help the son of Bernardini return to his best form.
“No disrespect to Nash (Rawiller), but he is a tricky horse and he just seems to click well with Glyn Schofield and hopefully they can bond well on Saturday and get back to some form,” Waller said.
“It’s A Dundeel will be very hard to beat, but if there is a horse that can do it I’m sure that Boban is capable.
Waller admits that the start of Boban’s 2014 Sydney Autumn Racing Carnival campaign has not gone exactly to plan, but revealed that he has been reasonably happy with his performances and believes the four-year-old will improve significantly if he can settle during his races.
“His two runs haven’t been bad, he has a fourth and a fifth next to his name, and if he had gone a length or so better in either one he probably would have run third and second,” Waller said.
“He is not far off the mark and he just needs to settle a bit in his races.”
Boban is joined in the 2014 Chipping Norton Stakes field by stablemates Moriarty and Hawkspur, who currently sit on the third and fourth lines of betting respectively.
Moriarty started his campaign with a solid eighth in the Expressway Stakes before storming home late to finish third in the Apollo Stakes and Waller said that he could not be happier with the form of the imported stayer.
“He is going better than any horse in Sydney at the moment, in terms of where he is heading,” Waller said.
“He is on track for the Ranvet and if you could say he was going to win a Ranvet, he would be running in the money in the Chipping Norton as well.
“I can’t be more impressed with the way he is going.”
Waller said that he has simply put a line through the poor run and is expecting a better run from the Purrealist gelding when he is partnered by Jimmy Cassidy this weekend.
“I don’t know what to make of that; it was disappointing,” Waller said.
“I’m not looking into it too much; it was a good form race and we just might have ridden him a bit close.
“Jimmy is back on board him on Saturday and he will be able to tell us a lot more after the race.
“He needs to improve a lot more to win, but he is certainly a top five chance.”
Waller is chasing his fourth straight win in the Chipping Norton Stakes after previously winning the race with Danleigh (2011) and Shoot Out (2012 and 2013).