Unable to make an impact despite leaving as a leading chance for success in the Hobart Cup two weeks ago, trainer Tony McEvoy is confident Pelicano is more than capable of returning to competitive form in Wednesday’s Group 3 Launceston Cup (2400m).
Jumping from the gates well, Pelicano settled in prime position on the heels of the Hobart Cup’s early leaders, finding a good rhythm but unable to muster much of a final straight spring, finishing fifth.
Revealing he was also disappointed by the Court Of Jewels gelding’s performance for sixth in the Listed Gosford Cup (2100m) on January 9th, McEvoy told AAP he is confident Pelicano has now completely settled into the Tasmanian way of going and believes the wider Launceston track will play into his strengths on Wednesday.
“He disappointed me at Gosford but Hugh Bowman told me to forgive him,” McEvoy said.
“He said he just didn’t get around there, so I was keen to get him back on the Melbourne leg, but I thought he just went through the motions at Hobart.
“The only thing I can think of is that the boat trip down there dulled him a little bit, or he’s just thinking of other things at the moment.
“I think the horse is really sound and he’s working nicely and he’s bright and well.”
A standout performer for McEvoy through 2013, Pelicano finished fourth in each of the Group 3 Aurie’s Star Handicap (1200m) and Listed Slickpix Stakes (1700m) first-up; progressing to an impressive race wins in each of the Listed Murray Bridge Gold Cup (1600m) and Listed Werribee Cup (2600m) most notably.
Remaining in the paddock for the majority of 2014 with a string of unfortunate ailments, Pelicano returned for eighth in the Group 2 Villiers Stakes (1600m); running fourth in the Group 3 Summer Cup (2000m) in his only other start prior to the Gosford Cup.
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