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Wyong-based trainer Stephen Farley is full of excitement heading into the 2011 Cox Plate on Saturday with his dual Group 1 winner Sinceroand it seems his enthusiasm is rubbing off on the punters as odds on his horse in the Cox Plate markets have firmed over the past 24 hours.
Yesterday the official 16-starter plus two-emergency final field for the $3 million Group 1 Cox Plate (2040m) were released, second emergency Yosei since scratched, with Umatilla four-year-old Sincero to wear the No. 6 saddlecloth.
The always consistent and honest gelding boasts a tidy career record of 11 wins from 17 starts to date, but have been below their best at their two most recent runs.
After two first-up wins for the season including their Group 1 George Main Stakes (1600m) success at Rosehill on September 17, Sincero failed to come within four and a half lengths of Secret Admirer in the Group 1 Epsom Handicap (1600m) at Randwick on October 1.
He was also beaten the same margin last-start when finishing fifth behind Descarado in the Caulfield Stakes (2000m).
With both Descarado and Secret Admirer engaged in the Cox Plate on Saturday, Sincero opened as a $20 chance in the iconic feature through Luxbet.
Coming up trumps with the perfect barrier six draw, however, the punters have begun to warm up to Sincero in the Cox Plate betting and he has since shortened into a quote of $19 at Luxbet.
Win or lose on Saturday, Farley said that Sincero had already exceeded all expectations he originally had for the horse and he was happy to just have a Cox Plate runner.
“I’ve been to five of the last six Cox Plates and to be on the other side of the fence is going to be a lot different to being in the grandstand,” Farley said.
“It’s going to be a buzz to have a (Cox Plate) runner but I think the nerves will be okay.
“This horse, to me, has got nothing to prove.
“He’s won two Group One races for me, so whatever he does now is a bonus and we’ll handle things pretty good.”
Sincero will have the blinkers on in the Cox Plate on Saturday after working well in them at Moonee Valley on Tuesday morning, a gear change Farley hopes will give his horse the edge.
“(Race jockey) Chris (O’Brien) said he (Sincero) was a lot more focused and hopefully they (the blinkers) can do the job on Saturday,” Farley said.
“He has had a very good week.
“He looks sensational and I do think he has improved a lot in himself.
“He’s very fit. We had his blood done last week and it came back sensational.
“We’ve just got to get through the next days and if we do he’ll be very, very competitive.”
Along with Sincero, there have been a number of other 2011 Cox Plate contenders to firm or ease in their price to win Saturday’s Moonee Valley showpiece.
2011 Cox Plate Betting Market Movers
Who is in and who is out in the Cox Plate Odds
- #2 Descarado ($15 out to $18 Luxbet) – With news from the Gai Waterhouse camp that last-start Caulfield Stakes winner Descarado was suffering from low level lameness, the punters have been staying away from a this former Caulfield Cup hero
- #5 Jimmy Choux ($3.60 out to $4.20 Luxbet) – In-form Kiwi galloper drew wide at yesterday’s Cox Plate barrier draw and will jump one outside the favourite from barrier 10, have been abandoned by the punters since getting rolled by fellow Cox Plate rival Rekindled Interest in a Moonee Valley hit-out on Tuesday morning
- #7 Lion Tamer ($13 out to $15 Luxbet) – One-time Cox Plate favourite, Murray Baker’s Underwood Stakes winning Kiwi and reigning Victoria Derby champion was all the rage until they were beaten nearly nine lengths by Descarado in the Caulfield Stakes (2000m) on October 8, Moonee Valley and the distance suite but punters aren’t convinced after Lion Tamer came up with the extreme outside gate for Saturday
- #9 Rekindled Interest ($12 into $7.50 Luxbet) – Jim Conlan’s Moonee Valley specialist will be out for their third win from four starts at the track on Saturday, showed that the addition of blinkers to their gear will have them sharp and spot-on when they beat Jimmy Choux in a hitout at the track on Tuesday morning, drawn to perfection in gate three and has everything in their corner
- #13 King’s Rose ($15 into $13 Luxbet) – Peter Moody’s form Kiwi mare is one of the genuine market firmers after coming up with the ideal barrier two draw, won their first two starts in Australia, including a 1600m Group 2 at the Valley, before getting narrowly defeated in the Toorak Handicap when second to King Mufhasa, has form over the Cox Plate distance with two wins over 2000m back home in NZ
- #14 Helmet ($3.50 into $3.40 Luxbet) – Obvious favourite here, Peter Snowden’s gun three-year-old meets all their rivals far better in the weights carrying just 49.5kg and is already a triple Group 1 winner when racing against their own age, takes a top three-year-old to salute in a Cox Plate and he looks to be one of those
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