Glowing Bear Hero faces tough task
Trainer David Ferraris admits finding a 'chink in the armour' of Australian superstar Sepoy is nearly impossible, but says he has Bear Hero glowing ahead of the colt's hit-and-run mission in tomorrow's Coolmore Stakes (1,200m) at Flemington.
Bear Hero - last season's champion griffin - has travelled Down Under for a one-off Group One assignment, but he has drawn a contest with one of the best young Australian sprinters in recent memory.
Sepoy has only been defeated once in 10 starts. After a juvenile season capped by winning the world's richest race for two-year-olds, the Golden Slipper, Sepoy has since gone undefeated in four starts as a three-year-old.
Australian oddsmakers certainly don't think the Darley-owned speedster will be beaten for a second time, installing him as short as $1.20 to win the stallion-making race for three-year-olds, with Bear Hero firming to $14 yesterday.
After watching his horse complete his final serious gallop at Weribee, Ferraris said he 'couldn't be happier'.
'He worked 28 [seconds] and 26 over the 800m and he did it easy with his head on his chest,' the trainer said.
Brett Prebble has been drawn to ride bear Hero and his experience on the tricky Flemington 1,200m course, dubbed the 'straight six', will be critical. 'No one knows it better than Brett,' said Ferraris, who also pointed out his horse in unbeaten up the Sha Tin straight, albeit over 1,000m.
'He loves to get tucked in behind something up the straight,' the South African said.
'When you pull him out he produces a tremendous turn of foot. So that's what I'm hoping happens Saturday.'
'He can be let stride, but he is infinitely better when you tuck him behind something.'
Regardless of the outcome, Ferraris said the trip Down Under had helped mature Bear Hero, who will return on the same flight as the John Moore-trained pair Mighty High and Silver Grecian next Tuesday.