READY: Sincero is in fine fettle. Picture: Jonathan CarrollTRAINER Steve Farley showed his confidence that Sincero is well and truly ready for tomorrow’s $400,000 group 1 Caulfield Stakes (2000 metres) when he said yesterday, “the Wyong wonder is on track”.
The five-year-old gelding’s chances have been greatly enhanced after short-priced favourite Manighar suffered a leg injury at trackwork in Melbourne yesterday that has ended his spring campaign.
“He is ready, and this is the defining race of the spring for Sincero.
“He would have to be competitive for me to go on with him as a Cox Plate runner.
“Really, I think he is a top-two pick on Saturday.
“If he doesn’t finish in front of the other main chances, or right near them, then I would have to rethink where I am going with him.
“But the way he looks this morning I would be bitterly disappointed if he doesn’t go close.
“I didn’t do much with him this morning, I didn’t have to to. All the hard work is done, and it is just a case of waiting for the race now and keeping him safe and sound.”
■ Newcastle trainer Paul Perry is preparing to launch an assault on the rich Melbourne spring carnival.
Perry has become legendary over the years for taking horses south and winning the big races over the spring, and in doing so bringing off plenty of big betting plunges
However, Perry has not had a runner in Melbourne during the spring since 2010.
The last big-race runner Perry had down south was Kirinata, which finished 12th of 16 behind Lion Tamer in the 2010 Victorian Derby.
This year he could be taking as many as four horses south.
Wouldn’t It Be Nice, which finished just behind the placegetters in the Breeders Plate at Randwick last week, could head south.
Perry said if Wouldn’t It Be Nice continues to please him he could go for the group 3 Maribyrnong Plate (1000m) on Derby Day at Flemington.
Perry will trial I Get Around and Stratana at Newcastle today, and if both go well they will go south to Melbourne for their first up- runs.
Hidden Warrior, which finished second at Canterbury last start, is also a possibility for Perry’s Melbourne team.
“They won’t be going for the big feature races, but there are some nice races down south for these horses,” Perry said.
■ Racing NSW chief steward Ray Murrihy confirmed that Newcastle solicitor Paul O’Sullivan had approached him about gaining a clearance for Broadmeadow jockey Andrew Heffernan to resume riding.
Heffernan was stood down by stewards after he was named in an English racing conspiracy case.
“Heffernan’s counsel has made an approach for the standing down order to be lifted,” Murrihy said.
“We have asked for more information from the British Horseracing Authority before any decision can be made.
“That might come in the next 24 hours.”
■ Newcastle trainer Darren Smith believes Oakfield Commands deserves a chance at a Saturday city race.
Oakfield Commands will run in the benchmark 80 race at Rosehill tomorrow.
“It’s a hard race, but the horse is going well,” Smith said. “His two runs from a spell have been good, although in easier company.
“He should be at his peak now and I have always thought he would be up to this type of race in town, when the good ones have started shipping south for the Melbourne spring carnival.”
■ Top Newcastle jockey Andrew Gibbons will be hoping to reboot his great start to the new season at Rosehill tomorrow.
He has retained the ride on Mr Armstrong for John Thompson in the 1350m handicap.
Gibbons had an amazing start to the season when he rode 16 winners in the first six weeks.
“That was the best start I have ever had to a season, but things have got quieter over the past fortnight,” he said.
“Hopefully Mr Armstrong can help me get back to winning form. I had a lot of luck on this horse when he was with Wayne Wilkes.
“I won a Kempsey Cup on him and I was on him first-up in The Shorts.
“I told John that even though he got beaten easy, it was a good run.
“They kept me on for the Rosehill race and I am sure he can improve. He is more than just a handy horse.”
■ Cessnock jockey Robert Thompson admits he got a pleasant surprise when he got the call-up to ride Skyerush at Rosehill tomorrow.
The mare runs in the listed $100,000 Angst Stakes over 1500m.
“I have never ridden Skyerush before, but she is definitely a nice pick-up ride,” Thompson said.
“Hughie Bowman rides her, but he has gone to Melbourne, and Guy Walter calls on me every now and then to ride for him.
“They say there is a bit more rain due for Sydney and I just hopes it comes at Rosehill on Saturday. That would definitely help Skyerush.”
Thompson will also ride Myamira in the 1400m handicap. “I won on her a few starts back and she does have ability,” Thompson said.
■ Newcastle trainer Kris Lees is chasing a two-state winning double tomorrow with mares he believes have “struck their best form”.
Lees has sent Dream With Me to Brisbane, where she runs in race three at Doomben.
He will also have Sweet Talkin Woman at Rosehill in the 1800m benchmark 75.
“Sweet Talkin Woman ran into a smart one last start and has done well since,” Lees said. “Both have struck their best form and both look in the right races.
“Dream With Me should get a faster run race up there than she has been used to recently and plenty of speed will help her.”