Glyn Schofield will partner Boban in the 2014 Queen Elizabeth Stakes at Royal Randwick on Saturday and the veteran jockey can see plenty of positives heading into the Group 1 event with the enigmatic galloper.
Boban made a slow start to his 2014 Sydney Autumn Racing Carnival campaign, while Schofield served a suspension, but the son of Bernardini returned to winning form when reunited with Schofield in the Group 1 Chipping Norton Stakes (1600m) at Warwick Farm on March 8 and was far from disgraced when seventh in the Group 1 George Ryder Stakes (1500m) at Rosehill Gardens on March 29.
The triple Group 1 winner has not had a race start for three weeks, after he was scratched from the Group 1 Doncaster Mile (1600m) last weekend, and Schofield does not believe that will be a problem, but admits that he is concerned about how the four-year-old would handle a heavy track at Royal Randwick on Saturday.
“Chris’ plan was always to go three weeks into the Queen Elizabeth,” Schofield told Sky Racing HQ.
“The way that Chris’ horses have been presented at the races in the last few years it would take a foolish man to question what Chris Waller does with his horses.
“It is a similar program to how he went into the Emirates and it is not really a concern with this horse.
“The track is more of a concern.
“If we get a couple of drying days and the track gets to slow, which Navesh indicated that it may, that would be a big plus for us.
“When he beat It’s A Dundeel at Warwick Farm it was close to a slow track that day and he got through that track quiet well.
“We all know that when the track is soft it just takes the ping out of some horses that like to finish on a dry track.”
While Schofield is concerned about the state of the Royal Randwick track heading into the 2014 Queen Elizabeth Stakes on Saturday, he is thrilled with the physical condition of Boban heading into the $4 million event on Saturday.
Boban will be stepping up to 2000 metres for the first time in his racing career on Saturday, but Schofield said that the talented gelding gives him every impression that he will stay the trip and he is confident that he will get a nice run into the Queen Elizabeth Stakes no matter which way the race is run.
“For myself it is an unknown and we won’t really know for sure until he runs over the trip,” Schofield said.
“I will be riding the way I normally do and I won’t be doing anything different with him.
“He obviously has the way that he likes to run and he likes to settle early on.
“If it is a slowly run race it doesn’t really worry me because it makes the trip easier to get through and if it a quickly run race and he runs the trip out it allows him to finish off a lot stronger.
“I am looking at the race with a lot of positives and if he runs the trip out, which everything suggests that he will, and if the right Boban turns up on the track than you might be seeing him in the right sport after the race.”
Boban is currently available at the lucrative Queen Elizabeth Stakes odds of $11; with Carlton House ($3.80) a narrow favourite from It’s A Dundeel ($4.40), Silent Achiever ($4.60) and Royal Descent ($8).