Chris Waller has officially withdrawn his triple Group 1 champion Boban from the 2014 Warwick Stakes field in Sydney this Saturday due to the wet conditions at Royal Randwick.
Waller originally accepted for six from his stables in this year’s $175,000 Group 2 Pro-Ride Warwick Stakes (1400m), where punters will get a bonus refund bet up to $50 at Ladbrokes.com.au if their horse runs second, including Bernardini gelding Boban.
The 2014 Cox Plate-bound five-year-old resumed on August 9 at the track running an eye-catching fourth when beaten under a length by the Gai Waterhouse-trained Sweet Idea in the Group 2 Missile Stakes (1200m).
Paying $26 through Ladbrokes.com.au to win the $3 million Group 1 Cox Plate (2040m) at Moonee Valley in Melbourne on October 25, Boban is best known for his wins in last year’s Epsom Handicap and Emirates Stakes, and the Chipping Norton Stakes this March.
Never having raced on a Heavy track, and well beaten in all three of his Slow course assignments to date, the decision was made to withdraw Boban from the Warwick Stakes with Randwick currently rated a Heavy (9).
Waller now goes to Plan B and will run Boban Saturday week at Caulfield Racecourse in the $400,000 Group 1 Memsie Stakes (1400m), which is shaping up as a mouth-watering line-up.
Jockey Glyn Schofield was formerly on standby for the ride in the Warwick Stakes on Boban who he has ridden for six of the horse’s nine wins including the Group 1 triple.
Before the official scratching however he was granted a release to instead partner up with Joe Pride’s Group 1 The Galaxy winner Tiger Tees in the race and Jeff Lloyd was announced as Boban’s jockey should the horse run.
“The Waller stable was doubtful about running Boban but they’re now going to declare Jeff Lloyd as the rider and with respect to the weather, wait and see if the track dries out,” steward Marc Van Gestel told AAP on Wednesday.
“Given the circumstances we were happy to accede.”
Dubawi seven-year-old Tiger Tees returned to racing on August 9 at Flemington.
There his class saw him narrowly hold off Mr Chard, Ladbrokes.com.au favourite to win the Listed Rowley Mile (1600m) at Hawkesbury today, in the Group 3 Aurie’s Star Handicap (1200m).
Damien Oliver rode known mudlark Tiger Tees, who boasts good Slow (5-3-0-1) and Heavy (3-1-1-0) track records, in the Aurie’s Star but Schofield now replaces him on the weekend as Pride had delayed booking a hoop until the eleventh hour.
“I was hoping some of the horses wouldn’t accept and I would end up getting a very good rider,” Pride said.
Pride also saddles-up Laser Hawk from barrier 10 in the Warwick Stakes this year, the former Waterhouse-trained Artie Schiller gelding out to improve on a second last when eighth in the Missile first-up.
Both Tiger Tees and Laser Hawk are looking to go two better than stablemate Rain Affair who ran third behind Veyron (1st) and Streama (2nd) 12 months ago, and Pride believes the former’s speed could be the key to success.
“If you’ve got that good sprinting type there, they’ve got a natural advantage over the other horses,” he said.
As for Waller’s remaining Warwick Stakes chances he has five livewire hopes including his dual Doncaster Mile winner Sacred Falls, last year’s Caulfield Cup fifth placed mare Royal Descent and promising French import Weary.
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