Pelicano will be included in the 2015 Hobart Cup field and trainer Tony McEvoy can’t fault the tough stayer ahead of the Listed event next Monday.
Pelicano spent almost a year away from racing after had surgery to remove a bone chip from his hind leg at the end of 2013 and he has performed fairly without winning since returning to the races.
The Court Of Jewels gelding finished a credible eight first-up in the Group 2 Villiers Stakes (1600m) at Royal Randwick on December 13 and he stamped himself as a leading contender for the Listed Gosford Cup (2100m) when he produced an improved effort in the Summer Cup (2000m) at the same venue on Boxing Day.
Pelicano started the Gosford Cup on January 9 as an equal favourite with Midsummer Sun, but he did not appear to handle the unique Gosford and he could finish no better than sixth – although he was just over a length and a half away from the leader.
McEvoy told Sky Racing HQ that he was initially disappointed with the effort of Pelicano in the Gosford Cup, but he said that jockey Hugh Bowman had nothing but positive things to say about the six-year-old and that convinced the Hawkesbury-based trainer to keep Pelicano on a path to the Listed Hobart Cup (2400m).
“He is really well,” McEvoy said.
“I was disappointed with his run in the Gosford Cup, but Hugh Bowman made me feel a lot better.
“He was quiet complimentary about the horse and he just felt that the track at Gosford didn’t suit him.
“He struggled around the bends and that is where he lost his ground, but he said that he felt fabulous and he think that he is just crying out for a mile and a half and feels that the horse is going very well.
“He has worked beautifully, he is very sound, he is very fit and I can’t fault him.
“We have decided to push on towards Hobart.”
Pelicano has been a consistent performer in Cup races right around Australia since he made his racing debut in June of 2011 and he has taken out races like the Listed Birthday Cup (2035m), Listed Parramatta Cup (2000m), Listed Murray Bridge Gold Cup (1600m) and the Listed Werribee Cup (2600m).
The Hobart Cup field will be released towards and is set to include the likes of Banca Mo, Geegees Blackflash and Cooldini.