Trainer Tony McEvoy is hopeful that a gear change and new surroundings will help Pelicano turn around his recent misfortunes in the Group 3 Launceston Cup (2400m) on Wednesday and install some of his lost confidence in the six-year-old gelding.
McEvoy opted to keep Pelicano is Tasmania following the Group 3 Hobart Cup (2400m) but he will ride with a visor for the first time in a bid to help the gelding return to the winner’s circle.
Pelicano last won the Listed Werribee Cup (2600m) in December 2013 before spending 11 months on the sidelines due to injury. He resumed in the Group 2 Villiers Stakes (1600m) on December 13 but finished five lengths behind winner Rudy in eighth place.
The gelding finished outside the placings in his next two starts in Sydney, both the Summer Cup (2000m) and Listed Gosford Cup (2100m), before McEvoy decided to take him off the mainland for the Hobart Cup on February 9.
However he couldn’t make anything of the race and finished a disappointing fifth.
“He disappointed me at Gosford but Hugh Bowman told me to forgive him,” McEvoy told Sky Racing.
“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.”
Pelicano is one of 13 horses set to tackle the Launceston Cup on Wednesday, jumping from the ideal second barrier with Matthew Neilson to ride for the second consecutive time.
Pelicano is being stabled at Davenport while he remains in Tasmania, with reports indicating he is bright, healthy, and working well.
“I think the horse is really sound and he’s working nicely and he’s bright and well,” McEvoy said.
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