A start in the Cox Plate could be ruled out for Boban if trainer Chris Waller decides to freshen up the triple Group 1 winner after running in the Group 1 $400,000 Makybe Diva Stakes (1600m) at Flemington on Saturday.
Boban was a first acceptor for the Group 1 $3m Sportingbet Cox Plate (2040m) at Moonee Valley on October 25 but Waller is having second thoughts about running in the weight-for-age championship and could revert back to the 1200m of the Group 1 $1m Darley Classic at Flemington on the final day of the Melbourne Cup Carnival.
Boban is a Group 1 winner on three occasions over 1600m, but at his only attempt at 2000m the Bernardini gelding bled when a well beaten eleventh to It’s A Dundeel in the Group 1 $4m Longines Queen Elizabeth Stakes (2000m) at Randwick on April 19, the second day of ‘The Championships’.
“We’ve entertained the thought of freshening him up and running him in the 1200 metre weight-for-age race up the straight on the final day of the Carnival,” Waller told RSN’s Racing Ahead.
“He did have a bleed in the Queen Elizabeth last year (season) at the 2000 metres when he over-raced. It was on an unsuitable track, that was the only unknown, but realistically he failed.
“I just want to keep him to the mile (or below), he’s won all his best races at the mile, and then freshen him up probably for that race I mentioned.”
Waller was releived that Boban was able to draw an inside barrier in the Makybe Diva Stakes and is confident that Glyn Schofield will give him a cosy run from gate four after being caught without cover from a wide barrier when fifth to Dissident in the Group 1 $400,000 New Zealand Bloodstock Memsie Stakes (1400m) at Caulfield on August 30.
“That’s important with this horse,” Waller said referring to the good barrier.
“I know he’s got a get-back racing pattern, but he still needs cover to be able to switch off and relax and when you’re taking on good fields you need everything in your favour.
“You just simply can’t win sitting out three-wide or being in an impossible position when they need to challenge.”
Boban is returning to Flemington for the first time since last year’s Spring Carnival when he won the Group 1 $1m Emirates Stakes over the same distance as the weight-for-age Makybe Diva Stakes.
The Peter Moody trained Dissident is the ruling favourite at $3 with Ladbrokes.com.au with Boban the second pick at $4.20 just ahead of the Darren Weir trained Puissance De Lune at $6 and Sydney sprinter-miler Messene at $8.
English import Spillway from the David Hayes and Tom Dabernig stable is also under double figures at $9 and should be close to the action after an eye catching first up second to Star Rolling in the Group 2 $200,000 Back To Caulfield P.B. Lawrence Stakes (1400m) at Caulfield on August 16.