Classy four-year-old Boban will head to the Group 1 Epsom Handicap (1600m) after a very impressive victory in the Group 3 Bill Ritchie Handicap (1400m) at Royal Randwick on Saturday.
Boban showed an exceptional turn-of-foot to race away from the rest of the field when asked for an extra effort by jockey Glyn Schofield; despite the race not being run to suit with a fairly slow early tempo.
The Bernardini gelding showed plenty of promise as a younger horse but according to trainer Chris Waller has returned as a four-year-old a much stronger horse and he believes the gelding is a leading contender for the Epsom Handicap.
“He is coming together at the right time,” Waller said after the race.
“Both runs back from a spell have been very impressive to say the least and the horse is just getting confidence now.
“He has come back a different shape of horse and obviously a faster horse.
“In the Epsom he will get in with a nice light weight.
“He will need to settle in that, he has been aided by two very good barriers in both his runs back, and we are just going to need to hope for a little bit of luck when they pull the marbles out on Epsom Day and hope for a little bit of speed.”
It had already been a big day for the Schofield family, with Chad Schofield riding his first win at Group level at Caulfield, and Glyn Schofield was delighted to get in on the action.
“He was very impressive at Rosehill a couple of weeks back and this performance topped that by quiet some distance,” Schofield.
“It was effortless, he got the suck run, but his acceleration was second to none.
“He definitely has some serious races in front of him and Chris has a nice dilemma now as to where to send him.”
Sizzling was well backed to win his first race outside of Queensland but was ridden at the back of the field and was never a factor in the finish.
Boban is set to carry 52kg in the Epsom Handicap at Royal Randwick on October 5.
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2013 Bill Ritchie Handicap Race Results & Finishing Order
|1||9||BOBAN||Chris Waller||Glyn Schofield||–||1||54.5kg||$2.70F|
|2||4||BELLTONE||Kelso Wood||Joshua Parr||3.8L||3||56kg||$51|
|3||10||CHOICE BRO||John Sargent||Jason Collett||3.9L||7||54.5kg||$26|
|4||12||ASHOKAN||Gai Waterhouse||Tommy Berry||4.5L||9||54.5kg||$10|
|4||3||SIZZLING||Kelso Wood||Tim Clark||4.5L||4||57.5kg||$3.90|
|6||2||MALAVIO||Steve Englebrecht||Nathan Berry||5.4L||6||58kg||$9.50|
|7||1||BELLO||Peter Snowden||Christian Reith||6.2L||8||58kg||$8|
|8||7||AL DHAFRA||Terry Robinson||Brenton Avdulla||7.4L||2||54.5kg||$71|
|9||6||TITLE||Joseph Pride||Jay Ford||8.9L||5||56kg||$12|
|10||5||TAGUS||John P Thompson||Hugh Bowman||11.6L||10||56kg||$51|