Zebulon faces a drop in class at Flemington from a recent Group One race but trainer Peter Morgan is lamenting a wide barrier draw.
Five-year-old Zebulon finished among the tailenders in the Group One Goodwood (1200m) in Adelaide last month in his second start since his return from a second lengthy lay-off because of a tendon injury.
On Saturday the gelding is scheduled to contest Rod Johnson Handicap (1400m) at Flemington which is a heat of the Winter Championship Series in Victoria.
Morgan was pleased with how Zebulon performed first-up this campaign when hitting the line well for fifth in the Listed Anniversary Vase (1400m) at Caulfield.
But he was disappointed how things panned out in The Goodwood, believing the gelding was too close to the speed after being caught wide before finishing 19th.
“He has come through the race all right but he’s drawn off the course on Saturday in barrier 17,” Morgan said.
He said, so long as he decides to start him from that barrier, Zebulon would need to settle back in the field.
“He runs better from back in the field anyway. That’s his pattern,” Morgan said.
Zebulon’s career has been restricted to 10 starts.
He spent more than 12 months off the scene because of a tendon injury then returned with a Listed win in Adelaide in April last year before he injured the tendon again and spent another year off racing.
“I thought he should have nearly won at Caulfield first-up, so I was pretty happy with that,” Morgan said.
“Then I was disappointed how things went in Adelaide. I would have loved to have drawn a barrier on Saturday to just see where we are at, but we’re going to have to go back from 17.”
Morgan is hopeful Zebulon can still have the class to finish over his rivals in the capacity field of 16 plus one emergency.
“I just hope he’s going well enough,” he said.
“His work has been good and he’s done everything right, but you never know whether they are saving themselves a little bit. But he didn’t appear to be saving anything first-up at Caulfield.
“In Adelaide he didn’t finish the race off but he couldn’t finish the race off being out six wide.”
Zebulon is at $13 with Sovereign Nation the $5.50 CrownBet favourite.