Pelicano Kicks Off 2014 Summer Cup Campaign in Villiers

This Saturday in Sydney Tony McEvoy will bring back last year’s Werribee Cup winner Pelicano with the returning stayer kicking off his Summer Cup 2014 campaign in the $175,000 Group 2 Villiers Stakes (1600m) at Royal Randwick.


2014 Summer Cup hope Pelicano returns to racing in Saturday’s Villiers Stakes over the Randwick mile. Photo: Steve Hart.

The Hawkesbury-based McEvoy has two official nominees for the 2014 Villiers Stakes but confirmed today he would be heading north to find a firmer track for Mouro who will race in the $100,000 Listed Brisbane Handicap (1600m) at Doomben.

He will still be represented in the weekend’s feature race however with Pelicano taking on the likes of Chris Waller’s Festival Stakes winner I’m Imposing and third placed Strawberry Boy in the Villiers.

The Court Of Jewels six-year-old hasn’t raced in a year with Pelicano last seen winning the Listed Werribee Cup (2600m) with 60kg over Hurdy Gurdy Man.

That capped off an outstanding spring – summer season for the gelding which also won the Listed Murray Bridge Gold Cup (1600m) and ran second behind Gai Waterhouse’s subsequent Sydney Cup winner The Offer in the Listed Ballarat Cup (2200m) last November.

Having undergone an operation to remove a bone from his sesamoid, Pelicano has been back in heavy work gearing up for his return with two recent trials.

The latest of those was on December 1 at Randwick with Tommy Berry aboard for a good win over 1200m over Vitello and McEvoy described him as being bright and happy.

“He’s come back well…bright, happy and moving well,” he told Racenet.

While he expects a good first-up run, McEvoy knows the distance on Saturday is likely short of the horse’s preferred even off a spell.

“I’d say he may find them too sharp on Saturday but he’s got a rating of 101 and you have to kick them off somewhere,” he explained.

If all goes to plan and Pelicano races well in the Villiers over the mile then McEvoy will look at backing him up over more distance on Boxing Day, December 26, back at the track in the $125,000 Group 3 Summer Cup (2000m).

“We’re trying to get him to the Summer Cup,” McEvoy added.

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