Chris Waller’s multiple Group 1 winner Boban showed he was ready for another top season with a smart Rosehill trial on Tuesday morning in Sydney.
Winner of the 2014 Chipping Norton Stakes and the 2013 Epsom Handicap – Emirates Stakes double, the Bernardini gelding was last seen running a luckless ninth to stablemate He’s Your Man when failing to defend his Group 1 Epsom Handicap (1600m) title on October 4.
His first trial since then was on January 8 at Warwick Farm where he ran fifth over 800m.
Then this morning at Rosehill Gardens he went out over 900m with his regular rider Glyn Schofield aboard for the trial run in 53.4 seconds.
During the hit-out he was caught up behind them but his quick sprint to finish saw him hit the front 200m out.
From there he raced away to score a one and a quarter-length victory over the Gerald Ryan-trained Snitzel four-year-old El Sasso with I Can Rock from the Gary Portelli stables crossing a head further back for third.
A winner of nine of his 27 starts for $1.65 million in prize money, Boban served a mandatory three month ban after his 11th in the Group 1 Queen Elizabeth Stakes (2000m) last April after suffering his first bleeding attack.
His form in the spring upon his return was only average, something Waller and connections hope he can improve on this coming Sydney Autumn Racing Carnival.
Waller is yet to confirm exact autumn plans for Boban but he is likely to follow a similar path as last year.
Twelve months ago he resumed at Royal Randwick in the $200,000 Group 2 Expressway Stakes (1200m) for a fifth behind Appearance, the race run in 2015 at Rosehill on January 31.
A second-up option could then be Randwick’s $250,000 Group 2 Apollo Stakes (1400m) on February 14, which he finished fourth to the same mare Appearance in last autumn.
Boban then won the $500,000 Group 1 Chipping Norton Stakes (1600m) third-up, with Schofield jumping on to replace Nash Rawiller who was aboard for the horse’s opening two runs.
This year’s Chipping Norton Stakes is scheduled for Warwick Farm on February 28, Blue Diamond Stakes Day in Melbourne, and is the likely first major aim for Boban.
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