Jockey Tim Clark is keen to stick with Queensland mare Tinto in the Group 2 $250,000 Villiers Stakes (1600m) at Randwick on Saturday.
The Rex Lipp trained Tinto finished down the track with Clark in the saddle at her second run back from a spell when twelfth of fourteen behind Mighty Lucky in the Listed $150,000 Sky Thoroughbred Central Festival Stakes (1500m) at Rosehill last Saturday week.
But both Clark and Lipp considered the run was better than it looked on paper and Clark confirmed that decision when he rang up for the Villiers Stakes ride only a couple of days later.
“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 told AAP.
“The fact he wanted to get on a few days after that means he must have had the same thoughts as I did.”
Lipp analysed the Festival Stakes and said that a wide barrier and a slow pace up front made it impossible for Tinto to make up any ground and was beaten almost six lengths.
And the Toowoomba trainer added that if Tinto had drawn a decent barrier that day she would have been able to settle a lot closer to the speed which would have put her right in the race.
“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,” Lipp 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.”
Lipp will wait until after the Villiers Stakes to confirm if he will head back to the Gold Coast to give Tinto the opportunity to score back to back wins in the $1m Magic Millions Trophy (1800m) on January 9.
The winner of the Villiers Stakes is exempt from the ballot for the Group 1 $3m Doncaster Mile (1600m) at Randwick on April 2, the first Day of ‘The Championships’ and if Tinto happened to win, Lipp said he would send her straight to the paddock before preparing her for the Sydney Autumn Carnival.
“If she happened to win the Villiers she may go straight to the paddock,” Lipp said.
Tinto was one of the stars of the 2014 Brisbane Winter Carnival when she stormed home to win the Group 1 $400,000 Treasury Casino & Hotel Queensland Oaks (2400m) at Eagle Farm.