“You never give up on your mates,” said an emotional Chris Waller after squeezing another win out of Boban in the group 1 Doomben 10,000 after many had given up on the five-year-old.
Boban had not saluted since the Chipping Norton Stakes in March last year.
“He has run into a couple of wet tracks and ran a couple of good races, but he is still a couple of lengths off his best,” Waller said.
“You don’t panic with these horses because we know what he can do. You have to remember he won three group 1s in a year [the Epsom handicap, Emirates and Chipping Norton].
“He had a bleed and was sold to the States, which fell through, and we just kept him going and we weren’t too tough on him.”
While Boban raced to his fourth group 1 win, favourite Our Boy Malachi was dropping out to run last. He bled from both nostrils like Boban had earlier in his career.
“He was jogging up to them and was going to be in the finish and then stopped like he was shot,” jockey Tommy Berry said.
Waller once again had a tear in his eye after Boban took a split between Big Money and Temple Of Boom at the 250 metres and unleashed the burst he has become famous for. But he had to earn it.
“You work with these horses every day and this is the reward,” Waller said.
Boban had enough in hand to beat emerging group 1 pair Charlie Boy and Generalife.
“I lined up for that run because I had nowhere to go and he showed that turn of foot we know he had,” jockey Glyn Schofield said.
“I have to say I have had my doubts about him but horses lose form but not talent.
“On what he had done, he was the best horse in the race and he is getting back to that sort of form now.”
It took Waller’s group 1 tally to 12 for the season, equalling the best mark in the past 20 years by John Hawkes in the 2002-03 season.
“These horses that win you four group 1s are special and it is great to see him back doing that,” Waller said. “He is a weight-for-age horse and there is more in store for him.
“The Stradbroke is there but the weights come out on Monday and he is just going to get something extra for that but who’s to say we won’t be back here.”
Peter Snowden was delighted by Charlie Boy’s effort, which will earn him extra weight in the Stradbroke.
“i was glad he got his head down to run second. That should ensure he gets enough weight in the Stradbroke to get a run and I think in a handicap he is going to be very hard to beat,” Snowden said.
Charlie Boy and Generalife made their runs together on the outside as Boban got the telling split a couple of horses further in.
“I thought about taking that run but it wasn’t going to open like that,” Charlie Boy’s rider Blake Shinn said. “He has gone outstanding and will get into the Stradbroke with a great hope.”
Hugh Bowman on Generalife thought he was the winner when he came with his run.
“He was outstanding and was only a head away from a four-time group 1 winner,” Bowman said.
Godolphin trainer John O’Shea will be another interested party when the Stradbroke weights are released on Monday.
“He should get into the race and Knoydart [fourth] and him will be better suited there,” O’Shea said.