The Sunday Mail (Queensland)
Rain can’t stop dry tracker taking Memsie
THE legend of Boban – barnstormer, nemesis, multi-millionaire – continues to grow.
The cheers are now drowning out the jeers, with the fickle sprinter yesterday defying a gang-up of factors, including a softening track and a no-go zone close to the inside rail, to bob his way to victory in the first Group 1 race of the new season.
Even those close to the perennial carnival player, the boisterous group who warmed up an otherwise icy mounting yard, thought conditions had conspired against them in the Memsie Stakes.
One of his owners cornered club chairman Mike Symons before the race, objecting that the late start of the Memsie had allowed the weather gods to muddy their chances.
The rain that kept coming would usually have thwarted the dry tracker but it appeared nothing would stop Boban.
The rails was “off’ but veteran Sydney jockey Glyn Schofield stuck to a pre-race plan that promoted the idea of the shortest route home.
Boban, backed into $5.50 favouritism, sailed up the no-go zone, collaring Entirely Platinum ($9.50) and Stratum Star ($9) to win by a head.
It was Boban’s fifth Group 1 win in a career of many chapters – from electrifying early days, to costly few seasons in the wilderness, to resurrected via a Doomben 10,000 win during this year’s Brisbane Winter Carnival.
He now stands as the first “point scorer’’ of a spring that will quickly become tougher.
Justine Hales, representing trainer Chris Waller, said the track was a negative but Boban’s ticker wasn’t.
“He snuck up the rail and luckily they all peeled off,’’ Hales said.
“He wasn’t really liking the track much but he’s got a big heart.
“He’s very tough and he tries all the time.’’
Part-owner Brett Carty emerged from the cheering throng to speak about the “amazing journey’’ of being associated with one of the best, and at times most maligned, big-name horses in the land.
“He just keeps delivering. We’re thrilled, amazing,’’ he said, adding Waller had targeted the Orr six weeks ago.
“What he’s (Waller) done with Boban today … he’s just trained him to the minute,’’ Carty said.
He described Boban and Schofield as “a great pair’’ and Schofield’s broad smile as he returned to the mounting yard suggested he had a special affection for Boban.
He had been criticised about a year ago for not quite taking a gap here behind Dissident but he wasn’t going quite as well back then
BRETT CARTY ON BOBAN
“He is explosive when you ride him, quite dynamic ,’’ he said.
“He had been criticised about a year ago for not quite taking a gap here behind Dissident but he wasn’t going quite as well back then.
“But he’s racking them up quick and fast now.’’
Ultimately, the horses best placed to win the Orr – as opposed to the big names using it as a stepping stone to bigger things – dominated the race.
Peter Moody would not talk to the media, a self-imposed ban over a stakemoney freeze relating to his cobalt charges, but he would have been satisfied with Hi World’s first-up fifth.
Donna Logan, trainer of top-class Kiwi Volkstock’n’barrell, said pre-race she was not expecting the Rosehill Guineas winner to win and she was satisfied with his seventh placing.