Tony McEvoy’s Hawkesbury-based galloper Pelicano has arrived in Tasmanian ahead of his raid on the 2015 Hobart Cup on Monday.
The six-year-old Court Of Jewels gelding arrived at Devonport via the Spirit Of Tasmania barge on Thursday morning alongside Tasmanian Oaks hope Monopole who runs in the $100,000 Listed Strutt Stakes (2100m) on Hobart Cup Day.
Both horses look in top condition especially Pelicano there for the $225,000 Group 3 Hobart Cup (2400m) this Tasmanian Summer Racing Carnival.
“My travelling foreman Kevin Bullus said both horses took no harm from the trip,” McEvoy told TasRacing.
“They had a good drink when they arrived at Seven Mile Beach and they both ate up tonight so everything is right on track for Monday.”
A final field of 13 stayers makes up the Hobart Cup field for Monday with Pelicano drawn well in barrier five with Matthew Neilson to ride.
Pelicano was sent straight to the stables of the Seven Mile Beach-based Tasmanian trainer Scott Brunton after his arrival this week and so is spending time beside two Hobart Cup rivals prepared by Brunton.
Heading the weights on 59kg is the John Luttrell-trained veteran Geegees Blackflash who won the Hobart Cup back in 2012 and contests the race for the fifth consecutive year.
Pelicano is the next heaviest weighted with 58kg, a kilo less than the weight he had on his back last start.
Winner of the Listed Werribee Cup (2600m) in December of 2013 before spending a full 12 months on the sidelines.
He returned to racing last December and has had three runs since.
Two back he was on the improve at Randwick on Boxing Day running fourth to I’m Imposing in the Group 3 Summer Cup (2000m).
He was last seen on January 9 in the Listed Gosford Cup (2100m) where he finished sixth beaten only one and a half lengths by the ill-fated Midsummer Sun.
Hugh Bowman has been aboard for his two latest runs but Neilson was aboard first-up when Pelicano ran eighth to Rudy in the Group 2 Villiers Stakes (1600m) back on December 13.
Early Hobart Cup betting markets are a close affair with a host of livewire chances sitting at single figures.
Pelicano is the tentative leader at around $4.50 at bookmakers around the country but is followed very closely with Banca Mo and Garud both battling for top spot in the Hobart Cup odds before jump on Monday afternoon.
Drawn in barrier two, the Brunton-trained Banca Mo is a seven-year-old son of Tough Speed last seen running second to fellow Cup hope Iggimacool in the Listed Kevin Sharkie Tasmanian Stakes (1600m) from New Year’s Eve.
He had 59kg and barrier one that day and should be smart with 56.5kg here despite the notable rise in distance.
Garud meanwhile is on the 54kg minimum, Michael Moroney’s Victorian raider also a seven-year-old.
The High Chaparral ran sixth over 2000m at Flemington on January 17 and is tipped to improve in his Tasmanian debut.
Following the Hobart Cup, Pelicano will stay on in the Apple Isle for the $225,000 Group 3 Launceston Cup (2400m) on February 25.
The Hobart Cup – Launceston Cup double was completed last year by the Mick Price-trained mare Epingle and McEvoy hopes his interstate visitor can do it again in 2015 and snap up the Tattsbet $100,000 Cups Double Bonus.
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