By Craig Young
The decision to send the multiple group 1 winner Sincero south a little earlier this year has already reaped a dividend and trainer Stephen Farley is confident of another pay day in Saturday’s Caulfield Stakes.
A winner of last year’s Stradbroke Handicap at Eagle Farm and the George Main Stakes at Rosehill Sincero didn’t aim up in three Melbourne starts last spring but is back for another crack at the coveted Cox Plate.
“The plan was always to give him a light autumn in Sydney and then give him a good spell before heading straight to Melbourne,” Farley said shortly after Sincero worked at Flemington on Wednesday morning.
“They [autumn runs] were probably the three best runs of his career, competing against the best at weight-for-age, horses like More Joyous, and he should have nearly won the Doncaster.
“Last spring he had the three runs in Sydney and then went south but this time round we wanted him here early, wanted to get the horses adapted to the conditions down here, the Melbourne weather, get him on the Melbourne leg.
“Not that he didn’t handle it last year but he just struggled on the Melbourne leg. Getting him here early is all part of getting him used to it. You can work them at home the Melbourne way but it is not like race pressure. Having him here early means he can be put under raceday pressure.”
Confirming the five-year-old was on target Sincero returned to win the Memsie Stakes at Caulfield first-up on September 1 and three weeks later finished fifth behind the New Zealander swooper Ocean Park in the Underwood Stakes at the same track.
“I thought it was a very good run in the Underwood,” Farley said.
“I wouldn’t say he had crosses against him but he had to step from 1400m to 1800m, he’d had the three weeks between runs, had an awkward draw, did a bit of work to get where got in the run.
“Once the field got into position they backed off the tempo and I’d rather there be more speed for our horse.
“He has come through the run fine and it is onwards and upwards from here.”
Memsie winning jockey Michael Rodd is back on Sincero which will start from barrier two in Saturday’s group 1 event. Included among the eight contenders is Ocean Park and trainer Peter Moody’s rejuvenated import Manighar which claimed the Australian Cup, Ranvet and BMW Stakes in the autumn.
“Having a Melbourne jockey on board is a big plus too,” Farley said.
“From barrier two Michael should be able to put him where he wants. Ocean Park looks to be a nice horse, he went good the other day, he was drawn to get the right run and he got it.”
And Farley reckons; “a group 1 win in Melbourne would be lovely especially after they made the Memsie a group 1 after we won it with this horse.”