Toowoomba trainer Rex Lipp could send his smart mare Tinto to the paddock ahead of an autumn campaign targeting the Doncaster Mile 2015 should she win Saturday’s Villiers Stakes at Royal Randwick.
A ballot exemption for the Sydney Autumn Racing Carnival’s $3 million Group 1 Doncaster Mile (1600m) at Randwick in April is on offer this weekend to the winner of the $250,000 Group 2 Inglis Villiers Stakes at the same track and distance.
The Villiers Stakes attracted a capacity field of 20 milers including Lipp’s 2014 Queensland Oaks winner Tinto.
Drawn a treat in barrier five with Tim Clark to ride on 56kg, the now five-year-old daughter of Red Dazzler is third-up for the season and out to atone for a string of unplaced runs this year.
Her last turf triumph was at the Gold Coast Racecourse last Magic Millions Race Day in the Magic Millions Stayers Cup (1800m).
Originally Lipp was intent on chasing back-to-back wins in that restricted $1 million feature on January 9, run this summer as the Magic Millions Trophy, after a run for Tinto in the Villiers.
If she atones for her failed last start 12th behind fellow Villiers Stakes hope Mighty Lucky in the Listed Festival Stakes (1500m) at Rosehill from November 28 on the weekend however she could be put away in the paddock before an autumn return.
“If she happened to win the Villiers she may go straight to the paddock,” Lipp told AAP.
Lipp is happy to rule a line through the Festival Stakes run believing Tinto was at a disadvantage from her wide barrier in a race run to suit those up front.
“We just had to go back from the wide alley and there were five or six horses with pace and they just sat up there and made it a sprint home,” he said.
“The backmarkers had no hope. I came home and watched the replay a few times and I’m sure if we drew a barrier we would have been a lot closer.”
She gets the better barrier in the Villiers Stakes for her Randwick debut as she chases her second win at her third run over 1600m with Clark, who chased the ride on the mare this weekend, in the saddle.
“Tim Clark rang up for the ride on about the Monday or the Tuesday after the Festival so I’m happy to have him back on,” Lipp said.
“The fact he wanted to get on a few days after that means he must have had the same thoughts as I did.”
Further aiding her chances at an improved run and upset win in the Villiers would be rain in Sydney according to Lipp with two of her five wins to date being on Soft going and her record showing one from two on Heavy tracks.
“A shower of rain would come in handy,” Lipp said.
Current Villiers Stakes 2015 odds at Ladbrokes.com.au have Happy Clapper as the $4.80 favourite in barrier six chasing three wins on the trot.
Tinto is rated a $31 outsider in betting.
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