Stephen Farley has wasted little time moving on from Sincero’s latest autumn hard-luck story, declaring the dual Group One winner a definite Queen Elizabeth Stakes starter.
Adding more intrigue to what promises to be a classic weight-for-age showdown, Sincero will take his place in the field with Hugh Bowman in the saddle alongside headline acts More Joyous, Americain and Manighar.
“Saturday will be a great race and it’s ninety-nine point nine per cent certain he will run,” Farley said.
The trainer was expected to delay his decision on a Queen Elizabeth start until later in the week but he made an early call after Sincero came through his Doncaster run without incident.
With Craig Williams riding, Sincero missed the start in the Doncaster before finishing fourth.
“It was the first time in his life he has missed the start and unfortunately it came at the worst time,” Farley said.
“I’m not saying that he would have won but without that he probably settles at least a pair closer.”
While his above mentioned rivals will dominate the build-up to the $500,000 feature, it shapes as a potential career-defining race for Sincero.
“It’s going to answer a lot of questions for me going into the spring,” Farley said.
“He’s always given the impression he is a 2000-metre horse but Saturday’s race will help make my mind up.
“The first thing Craig Williams said when he got off him after the Doncaster is that he raced like he wants 2000 metres.”
Sincero has missed the placings in three Group One 2000m runs but Farley said the winner of more than $1.5 million deserved to be given the benefit of the doubt for those blemishes on an otherwise exemplary record.
“I’ve got no doubt his Cox Plate run last year was super but by the time the Mackinnon Stakes came along he was over the top,” the trainer said.
Williams told Farley after the Doncaster he held a Queen Elizabeth booking for Americain but the trainer said his horse would lose nothing with Bowman returning to the fold.
“Hugh has had a couple of rides on him now so that will help on Saturday,” Farley said.
The Doncaster continued a frustrating autumn in which Sincero ran eye catching races in the George Ryder Stakes and Canterbury Stakes without filling a major placing.
“I think he’s going better this year than he was 12 months ago but he’s in the top level now,” Farley said.
“The three races he’s run in during the autumn have been three of the strongest races you’ll ever find and he’s produced each time.”
There are 10 Group One winners among the 12 Queen Elizabeth nominations with only Cox Plate placegetter Rekindled Interest and Speediness yet to win at the elite level.
Other big-name Queen Elizabeth entries include New Zealand star Jimmy Choux and Epsom Handicap winner Secret Admirer.