Randwick-based trainer John O’Shea is chasing a $50,000 Inglis trainer’s bonus on Saturday as he prepares to saddle up Snitzel filly Tigress Lily at Scone and is quietly confident she can defeat gun three-year-old Sincero.
Tigress Lily is entered for the $250,000 Inglis 3YO Guineas (1600m) at the second day of the Scone Racing Carnival.
The Inglis Bonus series has already paid out over $2.5 million over the two and three-year-old seasons for horses purchased at the 2009 Inglis Select yearling Sales and will come to with the 2011 Scone 3YO Guineas.
Currently O’Shea sits at the top of the series along with reigning bonus winner Robert Smerdon and Michael Tubman, trainer of last year’s fairy tale filly Chance Bye, all at two wins apiece for the series.
But a bonus blowout is also attainable for Wyong trainer Stephen Farley thanks to his smart gelding Sincero, also lining up in the Scone Guineas on Saturday.
Farley is using Saturday’s Guineas as a stepping stone for Sincero, emphatic last-start winner of the Listed Gosford Guineas (1200m) by five lengths on a heavy track, with the Umatilla three-year-old heading towards Group glory at the Brisbane Winter Racing Carnival.
Despite Sincero’s dominance this season and short-priced favouritism for the Guineas, O’Shea remains unperturbed and has faith that Tigress Lily will bring some stiff competition to Saturday’s showdown.
O’Shea could win anything from $12,500 to $50,000 after the Scone race results on Saturday.
“It would be a nice windfall,” he said of the bonus.
“It is a wonderful system because it spreads money throughout the year and at several different tracks.
“It gives you a lot of chances to win bonuses.”
Tigress Lily has won two of her five starts to date, including the Inglis Bonus over the mile at Gosford last November.
This season she has failed to finish in the money having run fifth first-up to Red Tracer in the Listed PJ Bell Stakes (1200m) at Canterbury before her last-start eighth, again to Red Tracer, in the Listed James HB Carr Stakes (1400m) at Randwick on April 23.
Still, O’Shea has seen enough from the three-year-old to suggest she is on the rise.
“She’s a really progressive filly,” O’Shea said.
“She got badly interfered with last start in the James HB Carr Stakes and still picked herself up and got going again.
“Her first-up run was excellent also, and she trialled well here at Randwick on Friday (finishing third to Sincero).
“She’s one of the few chances in the race, probably the genuine third pick in the race.
“We are going there to the Scone Guineas because it is the right race for her.
“She has one start at the mile and won it, so we targeted this race from the start of this campaign.”
Jockey Christian Reith has been booked to ride Tigress Lily in the Scone Guineas having previously partnered with the filly when she won on debut at Gosford last October.
“He’s going fantastic,” O’Shea said of Reith who enjoyed a winning treble at Canterbury last Saturday.
Despite Tigress Lily’s claims, Sincero is the one the punters will be having on Saturday, and O’Shea admits he is the horse to beat.
“The biggest problem for us is trying to beat Sincero,” O’Shea said.
Purchased for just $8,000, Sincero boasts an incredible win rate of 70 per cent having scored seven of his 10 career starts including his past five on the trot and has earned close to $300,000 for connections to date.
That figure could increase dramatically if Sincero salutes as the likely favourite in the Scone Guineas before heading north for the winter features.
“The first race he will have in Brisbane will be the QTC Cup,” Farley said.
“If he could win that then he would be qualified for the Stradbroke Handicap, otherwise there’s the Queensland Guineas on the same day.
“I haven’t made a strong decision either way but for me as a small-time trainer it would be great to have a runner in a Group One race like the Stradbroke.”
The Group 2 QTC Cup (1300m) runs at Eagle Farm on June 4, a fortnight before Queensland’s richest sprint feature, the $1 million Group 1 Stradbroke Handicap (1400m).
Sincero is the current $4.80 favourite in the early Stradbroke odds just ahead of superstar mare, but unlikely starter, Black Caviar.