After scoring a gritty win in the Chipping Norton Stakes over the weekend the Group 1 plans for Boban continue with trainer Chris Waller confirming their next-up mission to be the 2014 George Ryder Stakes.
A talented Aussie-bred four-year-old from American sire Bernardini, Boban saluted in their second elite level on Saturday with more Group 1 glory hopefully on the cards as their Sydney Autumn Racing Carnival campaign continues over the following weeks.
Winner of the Emirates Stakes over the Flemington mile at the end of last prep, Boban was third-up for the season at Warwick Farm this weekend gone.
In a cracking performance, and improvement on their two season openers, they were able to beat home odds-on favourite It’s A Dundeel by a length to win the Group 1 Chipping Norton Stakes (1600m).
It was a big thrill for Waller who made it four straight wins in the race following victories with Danleigh (2011) and Shoot Out (2012-13).
Waller was quick to credit both the horse and their jockey Glyn Schofield post-win, Schofield returning after a two start absence filled by Nash Rawiller.
“This is a huge thrill,” Waller told the Courier Mail.
“I don’t think Boban’s first two runs were all that bad but I was aware of the criticism.
“You hear all the criticism of the horse and you second guess yourself and in those early days it was hard, but now I can back myself and we didn’t change anything with him (for this).
“The difference was Glyn (Schofield).
“He has confidence in Boban and brings out the best in the horse. Some jockeys just click.”
It is a near certainty then that Schofield will retain the ride on Boban when they race again in the $1 million Group 1 George Ryder Stakes (1500m) at Rosehill on April 5.
Following that Boban is likely to contest what is shaping up to be the race of the autumn, the $4 million Group 1 Queen Elizabeth Stakes (2000m) at Randwick on Sydney Cup Day a fortnight later.
A major prize money boost ensures this year’s Queen Elizabeth is a must watch with Horse of the Year honours on the line as Boban takes on not only five-time Group 1 winner It’s A Dundeel again, who is being tipped for improvement, but Melbourne Cup – Australian Cup double winner Fiorente from the Gai Waterhouse stables.
Fiorente is the obvious pre-post favourite for the 2014 Queen Elizabeth Stakes, currently paying $3.80 to win at Ladbrokes.com.au, after the star stayer boosted their total earnings to over $6 million on the weekend.
That sees them rank eight on the all-time Australian thoroughbred racing earnings.
However history is still against them as it has been two decades since an Australian Cup winner took out the Queen Elizabeth, Durbridge completing the double back in 1994.
Murray Baker’s champion Kiwi It’s A Dundeel is next best in betting at $4 following their stirring first-up second off a four month spell, with Boban third pick at $7.
While High Chaparral four-year-old It’s A Dundeel could then be aimed at the $3 million Group 1 Doncaster Mile (1600m) on April 12, Waller has ruled out that option for Boban.
Stay tuned for all the upcoming autumn news including the Queen Elizabeth Stakes field and odds.
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