Brett Prebble says talented colt Bear Hero is a serious Group One horse and will test local star Sepoy in Saturday’s Coolmore Stud Stakes at Flemington.
The Hong Kong-based Australian rider said the General Nediym three-year-old’s experience of racing against older horses in Hong Kong would stand him in good stead against Sepoy.
“He’s a serious Group One horse for sure,” Prebble said.
“He’s obviously a very lightly-raced horse but what he’s done, not many horses have been able to do in Hong Kong.
“I think they elected to come down here and take on his own age because it’s tough for the young three-year-olds (in Hong Kong).
“They’ve got to go up early in the season against the older horses, tougher horses who’ve had 20 or 30 runs.
“So it is an easier task (taking on his own age) for him for sure.”
Prebble, who will ride Bear Hero for the first time in a race in the 1200m Group One straight track feature, didn’t seem too perturbed about taking on Sepoy who has won nine of his 10 starts and is after his fourth Group One victory.
“You are not to know he’s going to be there when you first plan it are you? But they are all there to be beaten,” he said.
“He’s a proper horse this horse.”
Bear Hero won both his starts as a two-year-old over 1000m at Sha Tin before completing the hat-trick over the same track and trip against older horses on June 11.
He was beaten for the first time when runner-up over 1200m on September 11, again against older gallopers.
Prebble said trainer David Ferraris had already been successful travelling horses internationally having won the 2007 Group One Sheema Classic (2400m) in Dubai with Vengeance Of Rain.
Ferraris is very happy with Bear Hero since arriving in Australia and he was very pleased with his jumpout win down the straight at Flemington a couple of weeks ago.
“He’s really blossomed since he’s been here so I think he’ll run a very big race on Saturday,” he told Sky Sports Radio.
“Being a Group One race, and he’s the last of the General Nediyms, we think he’s a really top horse so to get a bit of black type will do no harm.
“It was a very good jumpout, he won it well, it was a fast time with some decent horses behind him.
“He hadn’t raced for five-six weeks so he definitely needed that gallop.
“He races just off the speed and he’s unbeaten up the straight. The only time he’s been beaten was around the bend at Sha Tin. Normally he just likes to get a lead (horse), settle a length or two behind them.
“Look, I know we’ve got a really tough horse in Sepoy and really we couldn’t beat him if you look at the handicapping terms, but if there’s a chink in his armour I think Bear Hero might be the man to do it.”