Leading trainer Chris Waller is confident talented miler Boban can bounce back from a less-than polished first-up performance two weeks ago when lining up for this weekend’s Group 2 Apollo Stakes (1400m) at Royal Randwick.
Having jumped as resounding $2.40 favourite in that event; the Group 2 Expressway Stakes (1200m), Boban was unable to keep up with the late speed of the field and finished fifth behind Appearance, River Lad, Sizzling and Pinwheel.
Waller told TVN this morning that while the talented Bernardini gelding did not perform to the desired standard, the racing fitness gained should put him in good stead for the Apollo Stakes this weekend.
“He wasn’t screwed down when he resumed” Waller said.
“First-up he raced a little bit below what we expected, but perhaps we were under-estimating good horses, like Appearance.
“You would think the 1400 metres (of this weekend’s event) will suit a bit better and he’ll be a bit fitter too.”
The legitimate threat of heavy rain over the Randwick course leading up to Saturday’s racing card appears to be Waller’s biggest concern, having further revealed Boban’s inability to perform to a high standard on weather-affected courses.
“He doesn’t really perform when it gets too wet so that’s something we’ll keep a close on eye” Waller added.
Following heavy showers yesterday, the course at Warwick Farm (35kms from Randwick) was graded as a ‘heavy 9’; a rating that Waller said would be far too slow for Boban to compete.
This morning, Royal Randwick was graded as a ‘heavy 8’, however is expected to harden over the coming days will sun predicted.
Boban was the undoubted performer of the 2013 spring, having claimed five wins from as many starts including the Group 1 Epsom Handicap (1600m) on October 5th and Group 1 Emirates Stakes (1600m) from a fast finishing Smokin’ Joey and Speediness.
Having drawn the somewhat awkward barrier 7, Waller; who will also saddle Irish import Moriarty in the 2014 Apollo Stakes, is confident in-form jockey Nash Rawiller can find clear passage early and justify Bobans’ outright favouritism for the event on Saturday.