Zupacharged is ready for another crack at the Chester Manifold Stakes at Flemington where he will be out to improve on his minor placing from a year ago.
The Kylie Vella-trained seven-year-old gelding was scratched from the recent Group Three Standish Handicap (1200m) on January 1 – a race he finished second in last year – but is on target to run in Saturday’s Listed 1400m race second-up.
“We were umming and ahhing about the situation with the weights and everything in the Standish but then he also had a bit of an elevated temperature the day before so that’s why he didn’t run,” Vella said.
Weights in the Standish had to be raised 4kg when the top weight didn’t accept and it meant all horses carried 58kg.
“I think under the weights it probably wouldn’t have suited him. I probably wouldn’t have expected him to win meeting them all at level weights, but definitely if he still had the 54 kilos he would have probably been right in there.”
Zupacharged hit the line well for third to Decision Time at Flemington in his first start back from a spell last month and Vella said she can’t fault the gelding heading into Saturday.
The trainer believes Zupacharged is going as well as 12 months ago and is hopeful he can make his presence felt on Saturday.
“The only worry I have is that he’s going into the 1400 metres with only one run under his belt,” Vella said.
“Not that he’s not fit enough, he’s just a horse that tends to over-race so we’ve tried to give him plenty of work so that he’s not too fresh for the 1400 metres.”
While Zupacharged has been placed four times at Flemington, a victory on Saturday would be Vella’s first at the famous track and the biggest of her training career.
“We’ve had a pretty rough 12 months so it would definitely boost the spirits of the stable, that’s for sure,” Vella said.