PETER Sinclair is firmly focused on winning a fourth consecutive B&W Rural Boolooroo Picnic Cup on home-soil on Saturday – and ninth in less than 20 years – but it could be his son Nathan that upsets the Moree trainer’s best-laid plans.
Sinclair senior won the 1400m feature in 2011 with General Relativity and again in 2012 with Crystal Club.
He made it three on end last year with Joppick and has also won the race with Sahara Bounty (1995), Midas Boy (1999-2000), Nepelle (2003) and Jazzmaker (2007).
On Saturday he starts former Queenslander Tapakeg and stable newcomer One Double – but is mindful that eight-year-old Playa, trained by son Nathan, is a very live chance at round one of bush racing’s Golden Triangle.
“Playa missed out on a run (at Gunnedah) but the horse is working well, and I’m sure Nathan will have him fit enough for the day,” Sinclair said.
The trainer says Tapakeg and One Double should run well.
Tapakeg finished an even sixth behind After Baron at Grafton when first-up on May 5 while One Double, owned by the same syndicate that won last year’s Mallawa and Wean Cups with Saint Lenny, beat just one runner home on a slow track at Gunnedah on Mothers’ Day.
Billy Owen rides One Double on Saturday while Tim Phillips jumps on Tapakeg.
“One Double’s run the other day was ordinary, and I’m hoping it was because of the wet track,” Sinclair said.
“Tapakeg has good Queensland form and his run at Grafton was decent, but if Playa can repeat either of its two runs before a spell he’ll be right in the finish.”
Nathan Sinclair, who won the Boolooroo Cup in 2009 with Trust Me Honey, says Playa will be competitive despite a stop-start campaign plagued by bad luck.
“The owners bought Playa to try and win all three cups on the Golden Triangle and while that might be a bit of an ask, the horse is definitely a big chance at Moree,” Nathan said.
Only two horses since 1930, the year Mallawa joined Talmoi and Moree on the north-west picnic circuit, have won all three cups in the one year - Mulgate in 1961 and Gefilte in 1988.
Playa won last year’s Goodwood Cup at Inverell in class record time at its first start for the stable before coming from well back to finish third in Keep It Danish’s Glen Innes Cup.