Stephen Farley’s reigning Stradbroke Handicap winner Sincero made a brilliant new-season debut at Warwick Farm on the weekend winning the $125,000 Group 3 Tramway Handicap (1400m) ahead of a spring campaign targeting multiple elite levels across two states.
While Farley named the $3 million Group 1 Cox Plate (2040m) at Moonee Valley as the main aim for his impressive Umatilla four-year-old, the Wyong-based horseman is also hoping to keep Sincero in Sydney for a shot at the $350,000 Group 1 George Main Stakes (1600m) on September 17 and the $500,000 Group 1 Epsom Handicap (1600m) on October 1
Farley, however, stated that with issues surrounding the structural safety of the Queen Elizabeth II stand at Royal Randwick, he needed confirmation that these major Sydney Spring Carnival showdowns would indeed run at Randwick this year before committing Sincero.
Sincero ($5) handled the Warwick Farm track well first-up on Saturday, heavyweight hoop Chris O’Brien re-partnering with the galloper to hold off Grahame Begg’s Flight Stakes winning mare Secret Admirer ($4.60) by a nose to win the Tramway Handicap while the trifecta was finished off by Thankgodyou’rehere ($5) a further length away.
2011 Cox Plate Odds
Futures all-in betting showing top 24 horses.
Despite the win at the Farm, Farley said he will be forced to take Sincero away from the Sydney racing fans and head straight to Melbourne if the upcoming elite levels aren’t going to take place at Randwick.
“My preference is to stay in Sydney and run in the George Main Stakes and then the Epsom but it all depends on what is happing at Randwick,” he said.
“If we can race at Randwick, Sincero will be there but I need to know by the middle of the week at the latest.
“I’m getting this bloke ready for 2000 metres (of the Cox Plate) and I need to know where the races are going to be.”
A winner of 10 of their 14 starts to date for over $1.25 million in prize money, Sincero is well-liked in the futures Sydney carnival betting markets including being the $7 favourite in the Epsom Handicap odds.
Australia’s premier online bookmaker Luxbet also slashed the price on Sincero in their 2011 Cox Plate odds from $21 into $18, deservedly so according to Farley who said there was plenty of improvement left in his stable ace.
“I believe he’s still improving,” Farley said.
“I know there is a lot of improvement in this horse.”
O’Brien confirmed Farley’s thoughts, the jockey excited about Sincero’s chances of saluting in a spring major this season.
“He will take immense improvement out of it,” O’Brien said of Saturday’s run.
“He was probably only about 80 per cent right…so going into the spring, that was good.
“Melbourne here we come.”
Back Sincero in the Cox Plate odds at Luxbet today before they race and win again, firming their odds for the weight-for-age championship.