Having lost the race first-up as the beaten favourite last year, the Chris Waller-trained Boban is again being aimed at the Expressway Stakes 2015 for his resuming run this Sydney Autumn Racing Carnival.
The multiple Group 1 winning son of Bernardini hasn’t raced since early October when a disappointing ninth in the Group 1 Epsom Handicap (1600m) at Randwick.
Twelve months earlier the gelding won the 2013 Epsom Handicap during an outstanding first campaign with Waller after being transferred from the care of his previous trainer Anthony Freedman.
That spring he won all five of his assignments across two starts including also a second Group 1 win in Melbourne’s Emirates Stakes over the Flemington mile that November.
Boban became a triple elite level champ last autumn at Warwick Farm then winning the Group 1 Chipping Norton Stakes (1600m) third-up over It’s A Dundeel but hasn’t won again since.
He failed next-up after blundering the start in the George Ryder Stakes when seventh on the Slow (7) track at Rosehill then struggled over the 2000m in the Queen Elizabeth Stakes during which he bled for the first time incurring an automatic three month ban.
Waller’s five-year-old returned in August last year but failed to finish better than fourth in his four runs last campaign.
Last Thursday he had his first official trial of the New Year at Warwick Farm over 800m pleasing his jockey Glyn Schofield, who described him as being in “a good frame of mind”, with his fifth place finish behind Alias.
“Sometimes they can take fright from it (when they bleed), over-race and do things wrong from it,” Schofield told Racing Network.
“But I didn’t find him too anxious or worried. He’s in a good frame of mind, his downfall is that he panics.
“He worries about everything, so we don’t need him to be worrying about his health.
“He seems to be in a good frame of mind, so I’m very happy with that.
“He settled nicely (after being slow out of the barriers) and hit the line really strongly with no real pressure at all.
“He feels pretty good.”
Now his part-owner John O’Neill is looking at following a similar autumn path to last year starting with the $200,000 Group 2 Expressway Stakes (1200m) at Rosehill Gardens on January 31.
He will be out to improve on his luckless fifth in the race last year when blocked for a run in the early part of the straight.
Following that his other current autumn targets are the $250,000 Group 2 Apollo Stakes (1400m) on February 14 and the $500,000 Chipping Norton Stakes.
Boban ran fourth to Appearance, who also beat him to win the Expressway Stakes, in the 2014 Apollo Stakes before his Chipping Norton win that he’ll be defending this year.
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