The likely omission of star interstate raiders Black Caviar and Hay List from next month’s Stradbroke Handicap has Wyong trainer Stephen Farley smiling from ear to ear over the chances of his boom three-year-old Sincero.
Ultra consistent Umatilla gelding Sincero sits as the $4.20 favourite in the early markets for the $1 million Group 1 Stradbroke Handicap (1400m), just ahead of $5.50 second elect Hay List.
After news this morning from trainer John McNair that Hay List is likely to miss the Straddie, and earlier confirmation from Peter Moody that 60.5kg Stradbroke top-weight Black Caviar would be in the spelling paddock by then, Sincero is the one the punters want.
A winner of eight of his 11 starts to date, Sincero looks in blistering form for his Queensland debut during the winter carnival having won both the Listed Gosford Guineas (1200m) and Scone Inglis Guineas (1600m) this prep.
A few anxious moments surrounded Sincero’s run in the Scone Guineas last Saturday, with eventual runner-up Speediness bringing some strong competition, before finally the favourite saluted by one and a quarter lengths on the line.
“He’s a funny horse my horse,” Farley said of Sincero.
“He just likes a bit of competition.”
There is still some doubt surrounding whether Sincero will make the final field for the Stradbroke on June 11, however, after he was allocated just 49.5kg with the release of weights yesterday.
Farley understood the position of the handicappers and expected the light-weight.
“As promising as he is he’s only won two Listed races so we’ve just got to keep stepping him up,” Farley said.
Sincero is well down the Stradbroke Handicap ballot as well sitting 41st on the order of entry, and would more than likely need to win a penalty eligible race to guarantee a spot in the field.
Farley remains unfazed, however, naming the Group 2 Queensland Guineas (1600m) as another option for Sincero if the Stradbroke dream doesn’t eventuate.
“I’ve got a nice back up plan if he doesn’t make it that far,” Farley said.
“We can always run him against his same age on the same day.”
Also held on Eagle Farm’s Stradbroke Handicap Day, the Queensland Guineas is a set weights race for three-year-olds offering a purse of just over $250,000.
If Sincero does make the Stradbroke cut, regular rider Chris O’Brien will likely have to be replaced due to the weight situation.
“The weight’s the issue for him (O’Brien),” Farley said.
Without a penalty, O’Brien will miss the million dollar mount and Glen Boss will take over the duties.
Whether Boss jumps on board before the Stradbroke and ride Sincero at his next run in the Group 2 QTC Cup (1300m) first at Eagle Farm on June 4 is still to be decided by Farley.
Once in Queensland, Farley has expressed a liking to stabling Sincero away from the metropolitan hustle and bustle, hoping to secure a spot at Deagon for the duration of their sunshine state campaign.
“The horse would relax a lot better,” Farley said.
Whatever the winter carnival holds for Sincero, Farley is looking towards the future with great confidence as the emerging galloper’s ability to settle well and his brilliant turn of foot mean he should make an exciting Group horse next season, if not this.
“As a four and five-year-old he should get a mile, mile and a quarter,” Farley said.
“We’ll just have to see how the cards fall.”