Boban failed to fire first-up and trainer Chris Waller has revealed that there will be no excuses for the triple Group 1 winner if he does not perform in the 2015 Apollo Stakes at Royal Randwick this weekend.
Boban was well-backed in the lead-up to the Group 2 Expressway Stakes (1200m) at Rosehill Gardens on January 31, but he produced a flat performance and was unable to make up ground in the final stages of the race despite finding clear running.
Waller believes that the soft Rosehill Gardens track may have contributed to the lackluster effort of Boban in the Expressway Stakes, but he said that the track will not be an issue in the Apollo Stakes and despite being on the sixth line of betting at Apollo Stakes odds of $11 he wants to see the Bernardini gelding finish in the placings.
“I reckon the track was too wet and we will see on Saturday because it should be a good track,” Waller said.
“He should get a lovely run from barrier two, but he does like a bit of room when he goes for him, but you can’t give up a good barrier.
“He will get an economical run and there will be no excuses for him on Saturday – he should be in the top three.”
Boban has not recorded a race win since he upset It’s A Dundeel in the Group 1 Chipping Norton Stakes (1600m) at Warwick Farm last year and he finished a disappointing fourth in the Apollo Stakes twelve months ago.
Another Group 1 winner that Waller hopes will produce an improve performance in the 2015 Apollo Stakes is 2013 Queensland Derby winner Hawkspur.
Hawkspur was never able to get into the race in the Expressway Stakes and beat home just a single runner, but he has never performed at his best first-up and generally produces an improved performance in the second start of his preparation.
Waller has set Hawkspur for the Chipping Norton Stakes at Warwick Farm on February 28 and he is hoping that the Purrealist gelding can stamp himself as a genuine contender for the Group 1 event by hitting the line strongly in the Apollo Stakes.
“It was similar last prep,” Waller said.
“He failed over 1200, got warm over 1400 and then won a Group 2 over a mile third-up.
“We will follow the same path and it would be nice to see him hit the line.”
Hawkspur is currently available at 2015 Apollo Stakes odds of $31, while Lucia Valentina ($6), Contributer ($6) and Weary ($6) are all locked in a battle for favouritism.