Colac trainer Kylie Vella is pleased with the condition of stable star Zupacharged ahead of his appearance in the Listed Chester Manifold Stakes (1400m) at Flemington Racecourse on Saturday.
A proven performer in the summer feature having run on for a handy third in the race last year, Zupacharged returned to competition to finish a credible third behind Decision Time and Runsati in the Fiesta Star Handicap (1100m) on December 17th.
Vella told AAP that the Group 3 Standish Handicap (1200m) on January 1st was supposed to figure as the second campaign target for Zupacharged, however a heavy weight forced the horse to be scratched.
“We were umming and ahhing about the situation with the weights and everything in the Standish but then he also had a bit of an elevated temperature the day before so that’s why he didn’t run,” Vella said.
“I think under the weights it probably wouldn’t have suited him.
“I probably wouldn’t have expected him to win meeting them all at level weights, but definitely if he still had the 54 kilos he would have probably been right in there.”
Vella concedes that the horse faces something of a challenge in stepping up to 1400m in only his second campaign start, but she is pleased with his fitness and is confident he is ready to perform.
“The only worry I have is that he’s going into the 1400 metres with only one run under his belt,” Vella said.
“Not that he’s not fit enough, he’s just a horse that tends to over-race so we’ve tried to give him plenty of work so that he’s not too fresh for the 1400 metres.
“We’ve had a pretty rough 12 months so it would definitely boost the spirits of the stable, that’s for sure.”
Zupacharged has posted a commendable four wins and ten minors through his twenty-five career starts so far, but is yet to taste success at black type level.
The 2016 Chester Manifold Stakes field and barrier draw is due to be completed and released by midday today (Wednesday, 11 January).