Trainer Glyn Schofield is confident that enigmatic galloper can return to his best form in the 2015 Chipping Norton Stakes at Warwick Farm this weekend and win the Group 1 event for the second year in a row.
Boban started his 2015 Sydney Autumn Racing Carnival campaign with a flat performance in the Group 2 Expressway Stakes (1200m) at Rosehill Gardens on January 31 and he only produced a slightly better effort when seventh in the Group 2 Apollo Stakes (1400m) at Royal Randwick on February 14 – an almost identical form path to the one that he followed 12 months ago before returning to winning form in the Group 1 Chipping Norton Stakes (1600m).
Schofield told Sky Racing HQ that he was most disappointed with the first-up performance of Boban in the Expressway Stakes, but he believes that the Bernardini gelding performed far better in the Apollo Stakes and he is confident that the five-year-old has every chance to join Shoot Out (2012 and 2013), Tie The Knot (1999-2002), Super Impose (1991 and 1992), Carbon Copy (1949 and 1950), Katanga (1944 and 1945) and Lough Neagh (1936 and 1937) as back-to-back winners of the Chipping Norton Stakes.
“It was always a query with him after he bled in the Queen Elizabeth, which was quite obviously a touch too far for him,” Schofield said.
“He has come back and in his first-up run he was very anxious in the gates, which is very uncharacteristic of him and he was thrashing himself about in the stalls and ran probably accordingly.
“His attitude showed that he didn’t want to race and he didn’t race very well, but his second-up run was right back on track.
“He jumped well, he travelled nicely, he was all over the back of He’s Your Man coming into the straight and I thought that he just needed to quicken up like he can and he will win, but I think his condition might have just told.
“He won this race third-up last time after very similar lead-up performances that were subpar and everybody thought that he wasn’t firing on all cylinders, but then he came out and won the Chipping Norton and beat It’s A Dundeel.
“Chris (Waller) has won the race four years in a row and I am hoping I can win it for the fifth year.
“I am going into the race with a lot of confidence in the horse.”
Boban is currently available at 2015 Chipping Norton Stakes odds of $14 with Ladbrokes, while Contributer ($2.80) is a clear favourite from Lucia Valentina ($5), Weary ($9), Ninth Legion ($9) and Silent Achiever ($1).