Elite level performers Sincero and More Joyous showed they were on track for their upcoming 2012 Sydney Autumn Racing Carnival returns after running an eye-catching one-two in a Rosehill Gardens barrier trial on Tuesday morning.
Racing on the course proper over 1100-metres, Stephen Farley’s Stradbroke Handicap hero Sincero narrowly held on to beat home Gai Watehouse’s five-time Group 1 champion More Joyous by a short-half-head on the Slow-rated track.
They finished in a time of 1:07.86 seconds, the Bede Murray-trained World Wide crossing over one and a half lengths away from the dynamic top two in third.
Wyong-based Umatilla four-year-old Sincero hasn’t raced since Flemington’s Derby Day last October when he finished a disappointing seventh behind Glass Harmonium in the Group 1 Mackinnon Stakes (2000m) after a testing spring campaign.
After their upset victory in the Group 1 Stradbroke Handicap (1400m) at Eagle Farm during last year’s Brisbane Winter Racing Carnival, Sincero resumed in Sydney with a first-up win over subsequent Epsom Handicap winner Secret Admirer in the Group 3 Tramway Handicap (1400m) at Warwick Farm.
He then went on to become a dual Group 1 winner with a victory in the George Main Stakes (1500m) at Rosehill in September before going on to finish out of the money in his next four Group 1 assignments.
Sincero, who was ridden by Hugh Bowman for his Tuesday trial, is set to resume racing in the $175,000 Group 2 Canterbury Stakes (1300m) at Rosehill on March 24, trainer Farley confident of a successful return after watching their hitout.
“It was a nice trial and everyone was pretty happy with it all and it all looks positive going forward,” Farley said.
“Hugh (Bowman) said they did not go overly quick early and he just put himself where he was happy to be and he had a nice sprint up from the 400m.
“We are looking to go to the races on Saturday fortnight with him and he will go to the Canterbury Stakes first-up.”
Following the Canterbury Stakes, Farley named the $400,000 Group 1 George Ryder Stakes (1500m) back at Rosehill on Golden Slipper Day, April 7, as Sincero’s major autumn aim before preparing for another assault on the Queensland winter riches including a title defense in the 2012 Stradbroke Handicap on June 9.
“He has matured a lot and learnt a lot from the spring and he looks sensational within himself at the moment and going forward,” Farley said.
“We will just weigh it up if he has normal trackwork or has an exhibition gallop at home, and we will see how he comes on from this run and what he needs to do for the next fortnight.
“He had a nice blow this morning (Tuesday) and that will bring him on again and he is in great order.
More Joyous, meanwhile, also pleased connections with her tenacious trial proving the brilliant daughter of More Than Ready was more than ready to get back to it.
Having collected close to $2.4 million in prize money over her stunning 22 career start to date that has produced 15 victories, More Joyous was also last seen racing at Flemington on Victoria Derby Day.
The mighty mare was spelled during April last year after she failed to back up from her incredible three length victory in the Group 1 Queen of the Turf Stakes (1500m) at Rosehill when running 11th to Sacred Choice in last autumn’s Doncaster Mile.
The Heavy (10) track that day did not suit the John Singleton-owned five-year-old and More Joyous was given plenty of time to recover.
After a five and a half month break she returned in September in a supercharged showdown with Darley-owned champ Sepoy, More Joyous finishing third to him in the Group 1 Manikato Stakes (1200m) at Moonee Valley.
She went on to post win No. 15 in the Group 2 Tristarc Stakes (1400m) at Caulfield before her seventh from a wide gate behind Hurtle Myrtle in the Group 1 Myer Classic (1600m).
Jockey Nash Rawiller was especially impressed with More Joyous’ trial performance on Tuesday her regular rider saying she was in top order.
“They didn’t go that hard early so I just had her where she was comfortable in behind the leader,” Rawiller said.
“They quickened up and I just sat off them until basically the last 100 metres when I gave her a squeeze.
“She picked up Sincero pretty well I thought.
“She feels really good.”
After coming up against Sincero first-up in the Canterbury Stakes, the 2012 Doncaster Mile Handicap is again on the agenda for More Joyous with the $2 million Royal Randwick feature to run on April 21.
In the latest Doncaster Mile odds at our preferred online betting agency bookmaker.com.au, More Joyous is one of the top fancies paying $15 which is an equal price of last weekend’s sensational Australian Guineas winner Mosheen.
Singleton also named a possible title defense in the $400,000 Group 1 Queen Of The Turf Stakes (1500m) at Rosehill on Easter Saturday leading up to the Doncaster Mile as a possibility for More Joyous as well as a follow up-run in the $500,000 Group 1 Queen Elizabeth Stakes (2000m) on April 28.
“More Joyous had a magnificent spell, the first really good break she has had,” Singleton said.
“You can see the difference in the mare, Gai’s really happy with her, so we’ve got a bit to look forward to over the autumn.
“She’s got 57.5kg in the Doncaster and although I’d rather she had 50kg, it’s hard to complain about her weight.
“I just hope we don’t get another bog track in the autumn because her two worst runs were the Golden Slipper (2009) and Doncaster (last year) because it was too wet for her in both races.
“But we will go for Doncaster again and then the Queen Elizabeth Stakes because we want to see over 2000m again.”
Looking further ahead the prominent owner said he believed this year could finally be the year for More Joyous in the $3 million Group 1 WS Cox Plate (2040m) during the Melbourne Spring Racing Carnival.
More Joyous has contested just one Cox Plate to date running fifth to So You Think for their second win in Australasia’s weight-for-age championship in 2010.
“If she runs the (Queen Elizabeth Stakes) trip (2000-metres), then we will train her just for the Cox Plate in the spring,” Singleton said.
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