2013 Epsom Handicap top-weight Sincero has been abandoned by punters in the lead-up to the $500,000 Group 1 event at Royal Randwick on Saturday but trainer Stephen Farley believes the six-year-old is reaching peak fitness ahead of his tilt at a third Group 1 victory.
Sincero beat home just a single runner in both the Group 3 Tramway Stakes (1400m) and Group 1 George Main Stakes (1600m) but has been far from disgraced; finishing within four lengths of the winner in both races.
Farley told Racing Ahead that he was happy with both performances and feels as though the Umatilla gelding has just taken a little bit longer than usual to reach his top form this preparation.
“He has come through well,” Farley said.
“He is getting fitter with every run, which has taken a little bit longer this time.
“In strong races and at that level the bit of fitness hasn’t helped him but he isn’t getting walloped.
“If he was getting beaten by eight lengths I would probably start to panic but he is running himself into fitness and I’m pretty happy with him at this stage.”
Sincero will carry the top-weight of 58kg from barrier five in the Epsom Handicap this weekend, with Brenton Avdulla on board, and Farley is confident that the dual Group 1 winner will receive a lovely run into the race.
“From five he should end up lobbying into a nice spot with a pretty nice run in the race,” Farley said.
“It all comes down to how quick they run the race as to where he ends up.
“That is probably the positive with barrier five heading into the race on Saturday.”
Farley’s plan has always been to bring Sincero to Melbourne for the Group 1 Emirates Stakes (1600m) on the final day of the 2013 Melbourne Cup Carnival but revealed this morning that he won’t commit to the trip until after Saturday’s race.
“This weekend will give us a fair idea,” Farley said.
“He is nearly right up to the mark at the moment and it give us an idea on whether we will come down for the Emirates.”
Sincero is aiming to become the first top-weight to win the Epsom Handicap since Desert War’s victory in the 2005 edition of the race.