Trainer Tony McEvoy is hoping Pelicano can claim a fourth Stakes victory this year when he takes his place in Sunday’s $120,000 Listed TAB Werribee Cup (2600m), reports Racing Victoria.

Coming off a runner-up finish in the $200,000 Listed Ballarat Cup (2200m), the son of Court Of Jewels also finished second in the Ballarat Cup last year before running fifth in the Werribee Cup as the $1.75 favourite.

Though he will carry 5.5kg more than he did 12 months ago, McEvoy believes the five-year-old is a better horse this time around.

“I thought his run in the Ballarat Cup this year was probably a bit better than last year considering the weight he had to carry on a heavy track,” McEvoy said.

“He probably didn’t quite stay the 2600m in the Werribee Cup last year but in saying that he was only beaten a length-and-a-half so he wasn’t far away.

“Glen Boss gave him a beautiful ride but he was on the inside locked away and he just couldn’t quite build his momentum.”  

Drawn in barrier five of the ten horse field for Luke Nolen, McEvoy said it was a perfect draw.

“He’s been frustrated with wide barriers lately but he should get a nice run from there,” he said.

“I’m hoping that from the barrier Luke will be able to ride him really patiently and I’m really pleased with him going into the race.

“He’s done really well since Ballarat. He’s trained on beautifully and he’s a very fit horse. He’s just been doing long staying work and is really thriving.”

Though he is yet to win beyond 2400m, McEvoy said if Pelicano ran out the 2600m strongly on Sunday then he would consider aiming the gelding at the $150,000 Listed Bagot Handicap (2800m) at Flemington on January 1.  

Joining Pelicano at the top of the Werribee Cup weights is Darren Weir’s Hurdy Gurdy Man.

 Set to start alongside Pelicano in barrier six, the six-year-old will be searching for a third country cup win this preparation to add to his victories in the Murtoa (2050m) and Hamilton (2200m) Cups.

Other key barrier draws include David Hayes’ dual Stakes-winning mare Unchain My Heart who will start from barrier two, barrier eight for the Mike Moroney trained Garud, barrier three for Melbourne Cup Day winner Mujadale and gate four for You Think So in his quest to provide trainer Mick Kent with back-to-back Werribee Cups.

The TAB Werribee Cup is scheduled to jump at 3.58pm, with Sunday’s eight-race program set to kick off at 1.00pm.

Click here to view the full field, form and barriers for the TAB Werribee Cup