Waller Hoping Boban Can Step-Up In The Bill Ritchie Handicap

Leading trainer Chris Waller is hopeful that the enigmatic Boban can rise to the occasion when he steps-up to Group 3 level for the first time as a four-year-old in the Bill Ritchie Handicap (1400m) at Royal Randwick on Saturday.


Chris Waller believes that Boban is good enough to win the Group 3 Bill Ritchie Handicap at Royal Randwick on Saturday. Photo by: Steve Hart

Boban started his 2013 Spring Racing Carnival campaign with an impressive victory in the James McCall Retirement Handicap (1300m) at Rosehill Gardens on August 31, winning by one and a half lengths despite laying out and racing ungenerously in the early stages of the race.

Waller said the first-up victory really took it out of the horse but he has performed well in trackwork and the record-breaking trainer believes that the son of Bernardini is good enough to score back-to-back wins for the first time in his racing career this weekend.

“He has done everything right since,” Waller said in a video posted on his website.

“The first week he was a touch flat, first-up may have got to him a little bit, so we have been extra cautious to make sure that he is cherry ripe for Saturday, which I believe that he is.

“He is not that well suited at the weights but it is the time of year where you need to rise to the occasion but I think that he is capable.”

Although he is now a four-year-old, Boban still has the tendency to race greenly and Waller believes that it is vitally important that the gelding relaxes during the run on Saturday.

“He has a great draw which will help Glyn Schofield settle the horse, which is very important,” Waller said.

Boban showed plenty of potential as a younger horse, under the care of Anthony Freedman, but raced inconsistently and was unable to string together victories.

He won the Listed The Phoenix (1350m) at Doomben in incredibly impressive fashion during the 2012 Brisbane Winter Racing Carnival but finished at the tail of the field in the Group 1 The T.J. Smith (1600m) at his next start.

Boban will need to be at his best on Saturday when he takes on a strong Bill Ritchie Handicap field that includes Tramway Stakes winner Malavio, Kelso Wood-trained Sizzling and Darley gelding Bello.

About The Author

Thomas Hackett

Thomas is a passionate and opinionated racing journalist and punter who has been obsessed with horse racing since he backed Saintly to win the 1996 Melbourne Cup. An international racing enthusiast, he has his finger on the pulse of racing news not just from Australia but all around the world.

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