Former Country Championships victor Noble Boy will have his first race start for new trainer Theresa Bateup in the Bob Charley AO Stakes at Randwick on Saturday.
It will be the six-year-old’s first start since running 14th in the Group 3 Festival Stakes last November and has since made the switch to the provincial trainer.
The son of Bon Hoffa seems to have his mojo back, posting a nice trial victory three weeks ago at his new home base of Kembla Grange.
Bateup is pleased with how Noble Boy is progressing in his first preparation in her stable.
“He’s pleased us all the way through. We’re quite happy with how he’s tracking along,” she said.
“We haven’t had any issues with him all prep. I was happy with his trial and he had a gallop between races here on the 25th of May.
“He seems to be a happy horse at the moment and enjoying his work.
“Andrew Adkins came down and trialled him for me and galloped him between races at Kembla, and even he came back and said he feels really good and that he’s nice and bright and wants to be there (at the races).
“He’s a lovely animal, he’s a beautiful style of horse and a lovely natured horse. He’s an absolute pleasure to have around.”
Noble Boy won seven of his first eight starts, including the 2019 Country Championships Final.
During the 2019 spring he was beaten just over a length in the $1.3 million Kosciuszko and also recorded a close up third on the last day of the Flemington Carnival.
The six-year-old now boasts a high benchmark rating of 92, which makes it tough for Bateup to place her new addition.
“The hardest part is that he’s paid for what he’s won in that he’s high in the benchmarks and it doesn’t give you many options with him,” she said.
“1100m is probably well short of his best, especially as he’s getting a little bit older.
“But I’m viewing it as a kicking off point for him and getting back to the races and a fitness run for him, and We’ll get a bit of a guide on where he’s at exactly.”
The son of Bon Hoffa is lightly raced having only 22 starts to his name and Bateup believes he has plenty of races left in his career.
Since getting him into her stable, the Kembla Grange-based trainer has kept a trip to the Grafton carnival in her sights.
“We probably always had in mind something like the Ramornie for him, up at Grafton on the seventh of July.
“He won the winter stakes over 1400m last year. If he shows he’s being a little dourer and looking for 1400m we could go that way.
“But we probably always had in our minds heading toward the Ramornie, just keeping him that little bit fresh with the 1100m first-up then on to the 1200m of the Ramornie.”
Noble Boy will jump from barrier four with Andrew Adkins aboard and is currently a $34 chance with tab.com.au.