Villiers Stakes 2015 to decide Tinto’s campaign

Rex Lipp will happily switch Tinto’s racing schedule if the mare can win the Villiers Stakes on Saturday.

Tinto has been set for the Villiers-Magic Millions Stayers’ Cup double, but Lipp said he would consider sacrificing the mare’s chance for back-to-back wins in the latter race should she return to winning form at Randwick.

“If she happened to win the Villiers she may go straight to the paddock,” Lipp said.

The Villiers winner gains automatic entry into next year’s Doncaster Mile, allowing Lipp to target Tinto at the $3 million race without the worry of his stable star being balloted out.

Tinto finished at the back of the field in the Festival Stakes at Rosehill on November 28, yet Lipp was far from disappointed.

The Toowoomba trainer said because the way the race unfolded, it made it too difficult for horses to run on and placed Tinto at a disadvantage.

“We just had to go back from the wide alley and there were five or six horses with pace and they just sat up there and made it a sprint home,” Lipp said.

“The backmarkers had no hope. I came home and watched the replay a few times and I’m sure if we drew a barrier we would have been a lot closer.”

In winding up 12th of the 14 runners, Tinto finished almost six lengths from the winner Mighty Lucky in the Festival under Tim Clark.

But a telephone call convinced Lipp he wasn’t seeing things.

“Tim Clark rang up for the ride on about the Monday or the Tuesday after the Festival so I’m happy to have him back on,” Lipp said.

“The fact he wanted to get on a few days after that means he must have had the same thoughts as I did.”

A Queensland Oaks winner, Tinto will be sent to Sydney on Thursday and Lipp is hoping her arrival coincides with some rain.

Three of Tinto’s five career wins have been on soft ground.

“A shower of rain would come in handy,” Lipp said.

Early Villiers markets have Happy Clapper and Telepathic sharing favouritism at $5 while Tinto is a $17 chance.”

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