Six-month spell could be the tonic for “immature” Zupa Hero

Zupa Hero
     The promising Zupa Hero is back from a long spell and showing signs of sharp improvement. Picture:

LIGHTLY-raced gelding Zupa Hero has a win and a fourth-placing in its short racing career to date, but trainer Pat Cannon believes six months away from competition could be the catalyst for greater success.

The three-year-old Zupaone progeny has not taken to the track since its dead-last finish at Moonee Valley in September, but the trainer is optimistic it can win first up in the Peter Neylan Memorial benchmark 58 at Seymour on Thursday.

“He’s got a genuine, each way chance,” Cannon told

“He’s first up, he won his first trial at Allarat, but you don’t take much out of those trials, but he’s got a hope.”

Cannon is hoping the gelding can surge to the head of the field at the beginning of the race and pinch it from the front.

“He’s going to roll forward… he’s had a throat operation, so if he doesn’t get a soft lead he might peter out at the end.

“He’s one of those horses that if he gets too fierce and fired up he can’t run.”

A heavy track is expected for the Seymour meeting, given inclement weather is predicted for the week in Victoria, but the trainer believes a quality debut on a wet track will hold Zupa Hero in good stead on Thursday.

“One thing about him is that he handled the heavy at Warrnambool, that was his first run and he ran really well behind a couple of smart ones, so with the rain forecast this week that shouldn’t hinder his chances.

“He’s got some sort of hope.”

After three different jockeys have taken the ride on Zupa Hero, Cannon is backing Rose Pearson to get the best out of his elect.

The trial win at Allarat was the first time Pearson has piloted the horse before, and Cannon is hopeful the 26-year-old can form a winning partnership with his horse.

“I haven’t used (Pearson) before, she rode him in the trial the other day, so I thought I’d stick her on.”

After breaking through in impressive fashion at Pakenham back at the beginning of September, the gelding was sent out two weeks later for its benchmark 64 debut at Moonee Valley.

The three-year-old finished last in the 12 runner field, and Cannon conceded his galloper was ill-equipped to handle the pressure of a significant step up in class.

“He was just immature, he just wasn’t ready for it,” the trainer said.

“We probably just threw him in the deep end and he just got overawed by the occasion and pretty much over-raced for the first half of the race.

“He just didn’t get his breathing right, so he just fell in a hole.”

After the six-month hiatus, Zupa Hero is ready to go according to the trainer, but Cannon is still unsure as to whether the racing mentality has developed over the break.

“That’s what we were thinking. He needed a good spell,” the trainer said when asked if the horse needed time away from the track to mature both physically and mentally.

“He’s physically gotten mature, but mentally he hasn’t. He’s a pretty stupid sort of horse, he’s not the smartest.”

Despite the less-than-glowing appraisal of the horse’s mental aptitude in its burgeoning racing career, Cannon believes in the right hands the horse can find the winning formula.

“He’s not the sharpest tool in the shed, you’ve got to have the right ride on him, someone who will get him to relax.

“That’s the key to him I think.”

[rmOC_events_list event_ids=1131073_05]

Notify of
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments