You’d be a brave person to write off Sincero for the 2011 Cox Plate despite the horse failing as favourite last start in the Epsom Handicap.
It was just the second time in his last 11 starts he hasn’t won his race and it has eerie similarities to his last race defeat.
That was at Eagle Farm back in June where he finished 11th in the QTC Cup after starting as favourite.
On that day it was a rain affected track and he drew barrier one where he struggled for racing room and was cramped on the turn.
In the Epsom it was identical circumstances as he jumped from the inside draw on wet ground and struggled for a run, all while lumping a 57kg top weight.
After his QTC Cup defeat Sincero came out and won the Group 1 Stradbroke Handicap at his next start so it’s an ominous warning about what could come.
Trainer Stephen Farley is unwavering about his Cox Plate ambitions with the horse and reiterated the circumstances that were against him in the Epsom.
“I said before the draw the inside barrier was the one I didn’t want because he doesn’t seem to like being cramped up in there,” Farley said.
“He was chasing from a long way out. I hope it is sign he is looking for 2000m now. The good thing he was very strong near the line.”
With that in mind it’s onwards to Moonee Valley on October 22nd where Farley is expecting the three year olds to be the biggest danger.
“Before the Golden Rose a month ago I looked at Helmet as my biggest danger in the Cox Plate,” Farley said.
“Then he did so much wrong and was well beaten in the Golden Rose. I just about wiped him off as a threat.
“But on the way he won the Guineas Prelude he is certainly back on top of my ones to beat. He was so dominant there and ran the time.
“Smart Missile is also obviously a smart colt but there might be a query on him at 2040m under the pressure of a Cox Plate.”
There is one race to come before the Cox Plate though, Sincero will run in the Caulfield Stakes this weekend where we’ll get our first look at how he copes with the Melbourne way of going.
After that it will be the main event and he will have one big statistic on his side as he lines up against the three year olds.
In the past 20 years there have been nine Caulfield Guineas champions move on to the Cox Plate, of those not a single one has placed.