Boban, Buffering Close Melbourne Carnival

Boban captured the Emirates Stakes (Aus-I) and fan favorite Buffering took the VRC Sprint Classic (Aus-I) Nov. 9, the final day of the Melbourne Cup Carnival at Flemington.
 
Both races carried purse of a $1 million ($938,000 in United States funds).
 
Trained by Chris Waller for a partnership, Boban is perfect in five starts this season after taking the Emirates Stakes by a half neck from Smokin' Joey to complete a rare double. 
 
The win is the second at the group I level this season for the 4-year-old gelding from the first Australian crop of Darley's Kentucky-based shuttler Bernardini  . Two starts back, Boban won the Epsom Stakes (Aus-I) Oct. 5 at Royal Randwick and thus becomes the first horse since Chanteclair 27 years ago to land the Epsom Handicap/Emirates Stakes double in the same season.
 
Guided by Glyn Schofield, 4-1 favorite Boban raced in midfield early before spurting through a gap and powering down the center of the track. He had to knuckle down late, however, to repel hard-charging Smokin' Joey in the final strides. Speediness finished a close third.
 
"He does possess a very strong turn of speed and of course, I only want to use it when I need to use it," Schofield told Australia's Associated Press about Boban. "But today his run came to an end about 50 meters from home and he just sort of clung on.
 
"It was a very tough effort from him."
 
Boban, who is out of 1996 Australian Oaks (Aus-I) winner Kenbelle, by Kenmare, completed 1,600 meters (about one mile) in 1:36.58 on turf rated "dead." 
 
Just two weeks after scoring his breakthrough group I win, veteran Buffering laid to rest any doubts about his elite-level ability with an encore performance in front-running fashion in the Sprint Classic.
 
Placed 10 times previously at the top level before winning the Manikato Stakes (Aus-I) from Hong Kong champion Lucky Nine Oct. 25 at Moonee Valley, Buffering held on to win the Sprint Classic by three-quarters of a length from Shamexpress. Moment Of Change finished 2 1/2 lengths back in third in the 13-horse field. 
 
Lucky Nine, the 3-1 favorite, could get no closer than sixth.
 
"There were probably a few unanswered questions after the Manikato...a thought that he might have been a little bit lucky," trainer Robert Heathcote told Australia's Associated Press about Buffering, who was ridden by Damien Browne. "But there was no luck in that today. That was pure guts, determination, and ability."
 
By Mossman out of the Anabaa mare Action Annie, Buffering was timed in 1:10.36 for 1,200 meters (about six furlongs) as the 11-1 third favorite.
 
Elsewhere in the Southern Hemisphere Nov. 9, race favorite Atlante won the New Zealand Two Thousand Guineas (NZ-I) at Riccarton Park. 
 
A son of Coolmore's current leading Australian sire Fastnet Rock, Atlante set the pace under Opie Bosson but was headed in the straight by runner-up Chambord after veering out on the final turn, 400 meters out. He courageously battled back and took the 1,600-meter classic by three-quarters of length in 1:36.47.
 
"If he had run straight he would have won by five lengths," Bosson told Australia's Associated Press.
 
"He's got raw ability and once he puts it all together and he grows up, he's going to be pretty decent."
 
Following two unplaced starts to begin his career in August, Atlante entered the Guineas off back-to-back wins, including the Canterbury Holloway Stakes Oct. 26 at Riccarton.
 
Murray Baker and Andrew Forsman train the Australian-bred colt, who is out of stakes-placed Readyforcatherine, by More Than Ready  . His extended family included Talinum, a grade I winner at Hialeah in the late 1980s. 

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