Chris Waller-trained Boban defied recent history and a heavy weight to win the Group 1 Emirates Stakes (1600m) with his trademark finishing burst at Flemington this afternoon.
Boban started the 2013 Emirates Stakes as a clear favourite, after recording five straights wins during the 2013 Spring Racing Carnival, and jumped from the gates well; with jockey Glyn Schofield electing to settle the four-year-old in the middle of the field.
The enigmatic gelding over raced in the early stages of the race but was still able to respond when asked for an extra effort from Schofield; storming home in the last 150 metres to record his second Group 1 victory from an unlucky Smokin’ Joey and a typically game Speediness.
Schofield has ridden Boban in each of his starts this campaign and has been gob smacked by the way that the four-year-old has continued to improve each time that he has been set a new challenge by trainer Chris Waller but admitted that his mount did tire at the end of today’s race.
“He just keeps on stepping up and he had it all to do today,” Schofield said after the race.
“It was three weeks between runs and he was up in the handicap.
“He possesses a very strong turn of speed and I only want to use it when I need to use it.
“Today his run came to the end about fifty metres from home and he just sort of clung.
“It was just a really tough effort from him.”
Trainer Chris Waller has done a remarkable job turning Boban from an underachieving juvenile into a legitimate superstar of Australian racing and was delighted with the toughness that the Epsom Handicap winner showed, with a heavy weight of his back, in the final stages of the Emirates Stakes this afternoon.
“He fought very hard today,” Waller said.
“He got there with 100 metres to run and I guess he was out of petrol and he had to dig very deep.
“He jumped with them, held a position and did settle; to win good races you need to be able to that and I think that there are a few good races that he will be running in where he will required those skills.”
Boban will be sent to the spelling paddock with his undefeated spring record intact but Waller has already started to think about his future plans for the Bernardini gelding; with the Group 1 Queen Elizabeth Stakes (2000m) during the 2014 Sydney Autumn Racing Carnival and next year’s Cox Plate two of the major races on the agenda for the classy gelding.
“We will just start off on a weight-for-age path and carefully tread the water,” Waller said.
“Even the Queen Elizabeth, they have been talking about that and it will be spruiked up with a big prizemoney jump, so that might be the right time to try him over 2000 metres.
“Obviously having such a taste of this Carnival, the Cox Plate is pretty enticing.”
Boban became the first horse since Chateclair in 1986 to complete the Epsom Handicap/Emirates Stakes double and was the first favourite priced at shorter than $4 to win the Emirates Stakes since Bonanova in 1999.
The Group 1 action in Victoria may be over for another year but some of the best horses in Australia will be heading to Perth for the Summer Racing Carnival and you can find all the best betting markets at Ladbrokes.com.au.
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2013 Emirates Stakes Finishing Order
|1||2||BOBAN||Chris Waller||Glyn Schofield||–||3||57kg||$4.40F|
|2||13||SMOKIN’ JOEY||Wez Hunter||Jason Benbow||0.2L||6||52.5kg||$21|
|3||9||SPEEDINESS||Colin Scott||Craig Williams||0.3L||1||55kg||$9|
|4||6||MULL OF KILLOUGH (IRE)||Jane Chapple-Hyam||Damien Oliver||0.6L||11||56kg||$18|
|5||3||SACRED FALLS (NZ)||Chris Waller||Glen Boss||0.8L||5||56.5kg||$7.50|
|6||4||TOYDINI||Guy Walter||Blake Shinn||1.1L||10||56.5kg||$9|
|7||16||RHYTHM TO SPARE (NZ)||Michael Moroney||Kerrin McEvoy||1.85L||7||52kg||$15|
|8||15||STRIKE THE STARS (NZ)||Anthony Cummings||Chad Schofield (a)||2.05L||12||52kg||$18|
|9||14||SPURTONIC||Gai Waterhouse||Tommy Berry||2.25L||9||52.5kg||$7|
|10||8||NASHVILLE (NZ)||Adrian Bull||Steven Arnold||2.45L||13||55.5kg||$31|
|11||12||BLACKIE (NZ)||Jarrod McLean||Chris Symons||3.7L||2||52.5kg||$21|
|12||11||STIPULATE (GB)||David Hayes||Dwayne Dunn||4L||8||53kg||$26|
|13||1||SOLZHENITSYN (NZ)||Robert Heathcote||Nash Rawiller||19L||4||58kg||$17|