Stephen Farley is satisfied Sincero's Cox Plate preparation is progressing as hoped but the trainer will keep a possible ace up his sleeve for the gelding's spring grand final.
Sincero will run in Saturday's Group One Caulfield Stakes (2000m) and Farley won't tinker with the dual Group One winner's gear in the weight-for-age contest.
But he says the addition of blinkers is an option for the Cox Plate two weeks later.
Sincero wore blinkers for the first time when he won the Stradbroke last year while his only other two starts in the shades were in last year's Cox Plate and Mackinnon Stakes.
The gelding was a brilliant first-up winner of the Memsie Stakes (1400m) last month before finishing fifth in the Underwood over 1800m.
Farley didn't walk away disappointed after the Underwood when his stable star was beaten 3-1/4 lengths by New Zealander Ocean Park.
"I was very happy with that run. I said on the morning of the race if he finished top five I would be happy," Farley said.
"Just from the draw he had (barrier 12 or 14) and he was stepping up from 1400 to 1800 metres. He had a few things that were going to make it a little difficult.
"But he didn't shirk his task and he's come on well since then."
Farley said Sincero's final serious hitout on Tuesday morning at Flemington was very sharp.
"He's brightened up since the run the other day and he's all but there now," Farley said.
Farley will be happy with a top three finish on Saturday when Sincero will take on the likes of Ocean Park and Manighar.
Michael Rodd, who rode Sincero first-up but was committed to December Draw last start, jumps back aboard on Saturday as the gelding steps up to 2000 metres.
He has drawn ideally with barrier two in the field of eight.
"We'd probably like to ride him a pair or two further back than he was the other day," Farley said.
Saturday's Caulfield program will feature five of the top seven horses in betting for the Cox Plate but they will be split among the three feature races.
Cox Plate favourite Pierro runs in the Caulfield Guineas (1600m) against his own age.Ocean Park, Manighar and Sincero are Caulfield Stakes-bound while More Joyous will go around in the Toorak Handicap.
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