Principal owner Greg De Vries is confident last year’s Stradbroke Handicap winner Sincero will be back to his best when he returns for upcoming the autumn racing carnival.
Sincero had a disappointing end to the spring carnival last year after failing to finish better than fifth in his last four races.
“It wasn’t meant to be,” De Vries said.
“Whether we pulled the wrong strings at the wrong time is yet to be known.”
De Vries believes the lull in Sincero’s form may have been due to the horse receiving a shorter than expected spell following his Stradbroke win.
“Maybe the fact after the Stradbroke we only had a three and a half week let off because of the Hendra Virus,” he said.
“We were a few weeks short of what we wanted to do.
“It was a bit of a learning curve for all of us.
“The main thing is the horse has come back nice and he’s well in himself.”
Sincero did initially return in top form in the spring, winning both the Group 3 Tramway Handicap and the Group 1 George Main Stakes in his first two starts.
De Vries is not expecting Sincero to wear blinkers during his autumn campaign, after they failed to have an effect in the Mackinnon Stakes.
“They went on in the last race, the MacKinnon,” he said.
“We thought we’d try and keep his head concentrated.
“We tried to pull a few tricks out of our book but they didn’t work for us like they did in the Stradbroke.
“I think we’ll keep the blinkers off him at this stage.”
Sincero’s autumn campaign has been mapped out for him, with his first up assignment being in the Group 2 Canterbury Stakes at Rosehill on March 24.
“He’s back in work; he’s been back for three weeks,” De Vries said.
“Our first race will be the Canterbury Stakes.”
Sincero will then line up for the Group 1 George Ryder Stakes two weeks later before a possible attempt at the $2 million Doncaster Handicap on April 21.
“You have to do the right thing and throw a nom in for the Doncaster,” De Vries said.
Regular jockey Chris O’Brien appears to have lost the ride aboard Sincero, with the owners currently deciding on a replacement.
“The owners have definitely had a few meeting about what we’d be changing; there probably will be a rider change,” De Vries said.
“They’re very keen on looking at getting another jockey on board.
“It’s early stages and we’re just taking every day as it comes.”