Tinto sentimental favourite at Doomben
Emotions will run high when Group One winner Tinto makes her return to racing at Doomben on Saturday.
The mare was one of jockey Tim Bell’s favourite horses and gave him his first Group One win in the 2014 Queensland Oaks.
Bell died in an accidental fall from a building in Singapore last week, aged 22.
Tinto finished a creditable sixth in the Group Three Guy Walter Stakes in February before a seventh in the Group One Coolmore Classic in Sydney.
Her campaign was cut short after the Coolmore when it was discovered she had joint problems.
Trainer Rex Lipp spelled Tinto through the winter with the aim of bringing her back for the summer in Sydney or Queensland.
“We have plenty of options with Tinto and after Saturday we will decide which way to go,” Lipp said.
He said one option was to head to Sydney for the Villiers Stakes (1600m) on December 12 after a lead-up race in the Festival Stakes (1500m) at Rosehill two weeks earlier.
“Or we could stay in Brisbane and chase stakes races such as the Just Now and the Bernborough Handicap,” Lipp said.
“And of course, there is also the Magic Millions Trophy in January which is worth $1 million this season.”
“Perhaps we can even go to Sydney and then come back for Millions day.”
Tinto has won twice over the 1800 metre journey of the Magic Millions Trophy and loves the Gold Coast track where she is unbeaten in three starts.
Bell wouldn’t have ridden Tinto on Saturday because of his Singapore commitments but he would have been in line to ride her next year.
Lipp said Bell had sent him a text message just days before his death inquiring about Tinto’s progress.
“Tim was a thorough professional who was always thinking ahead,” Lipp said.
“It will be hard not to think of him when Tinto goes out onto the track on Saturday.”
While Tinto is best known as a 1600m to 2400m horse she has a good first-up record with a win and placing from three fresh runs.
“She finished second to smart mare Brook Road in the Tatts Classic at her previous first-up run last year. It was also over 1200 metres,” Lipp said.
“She had a jump-out last week and is ready for her return. The only thing stopping her would be a really heavy track.”
Story courtesy Mark Oberhardt http://www.aapmegaform.com.au