Boban bounced back to his brilliant best with a Group 1 victory in the Chipping Norton Stakes (1600m) at Warwick Farm on Saturday.
The son of Darley sire Bernardini lowered the colours of recent Arrowfield Stud acquisition It’s A Dundeel by a length while staking his own claim for Horse of the Year honours.
Boban (4g Bernardini – Kenbelle by Kenmare) had been beaten in his first two runs this year but looked a different horse with Glyn Schofield back on board after returning from suspension. “Glyn rode him with confidence,” trainer Chris Waller said. “I can’t explain it but some jockeys just get on with some horses better.”
The Chipping Norton was Boban’s third victory at the elite level after completing the Epsom Hcp – Emirates Stakes in the spring. He tracked It’s A Dundeel and Schofield was confident as early as the half-mile.
“I could hear James McDonald clicking up It’s A Dundeel and I knew he was going to be in trouble,” Schofield said. “It’s been frustrating watching Boban from the sidelines and I’m glad to be back on him.”
Waller indicated the G1 Queen Elizabeth Stakes (2000m) will be his autumn goal with a view to the G1 Cox Plate in October.
Boban was bred in Queensland by Greendale Lodge and was a $100,000 buy at the 2011 Gold Coast Magic Millions. He is the sixth winner from 1996 Australian Oaks winner Kenbelle. The mare has a 2yo filly by Teofilo named Keofilo, a yearling colt by Authorized and she foaled a full brother to Boban last Spring.
Bernardini is also the sire of multiple Group 1 winners Alpha, Stay Thirsty and To Honor And Serve. His two-year-old filly Platinum Balos ran third in the G1 Diamond Stakes in New Zealand earlier on Saturday to become her sire’s 14th Group 1 performer.
In addition to Bernardini, another former Darley shuttler – Dubawi – sired Catkins to a Group 3 victory in the Wiggle Stakes at Warwick Farm. And at Flemington, Darley champion Street Cry was represented by G2 Kewney Stakes winner Solicit.