Aeronautical Confirmed For The Gilgai Stakes

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Trainer Lionel Cohen has confirmed that Aeronautical will run in the Group 2 Gilgai Stakes (1200m) at Flemington on Saturday rather than the Group 2 Premiere Stakes (1200m) at Royal Randwick.

Aeronautical will return to Melbourne for the first time since he finished third behind Shamexpress in the Newmarket Handicap.

Aeronautical will return to Melbourne for the first time since he finished third behind Shamexpress in the Newmarket Handicap. Photo by: Steve Hart

Cohen admitted that it would be easier to remain in Sydney for the weight-for-age Premiere Stakes but told TVN that he believes Aeronautical is better suited to the set weight plus penalties conditions in the Gilgai Stakes.

“The Premier Stakes is run under weight-for-age conditions whereas the Gilgai is set weights and penalties, where he will carry only 55.5kg.

“It is a lot easier to stay at home and race at Randwick but I think the Gilgai is more suitable for the horse.”

Aeronautical returned to the races with a narrow second place finish behind Sessions in the Group 2 The Shorts (1100m) at Royal Randwick on September 21 and Cohen said that he was delighted with the performance and is confident the son of Encosta De Lago will run well this weekend.

“I think now as a five-year-old he is a lot more mature and Jimmy (Cassidy) showed that he doesn’t just have to go back to last and then storm home at the finish when it is too late,” Cohen said.

“We’ve taken our time with him, he has only had 22 starts and I think his best racing is still ahead of him.”

Aeronautical will get the opportunity to turn the tables on Sessions in the Gilgai Stakes after the classy entire was also included in the nominations for the $220,000 Group 2 event.

The son of Lonhro started his 2013 Spring Racing Carnival campaign with an unlucky second behind Decision Time in the Group 3 Concorde Stakes (1000m) before recording his first victory at Group level in The Shorts.

Also backing up from The Shorts will be Queensland sprinter Sprit Of Boom who is chasing his first race win since his triumph in the Magic Millions Cup (1400m) at the Gold Coast in January last year.

The Sequalo entire has been competitive at Group 1 level in the last twelve months, finishing third in both the Winterbottom Stakes (1200m) and Oakleigh Plate (1100m), but trainer Tony Gollan is desperate for the six-year-old to return to the winners circle.

Arguably the most interesting runner included in the nominations for the Gilgai Stakes is Peter Snowden-trained Galah who will be making his first appearance this preparation.

The Redoute’s Choice entire was highly rated as a three-year-old but failed to live up to his potential before breaking through for his maiden win at Group level in the Group 2 QTC Cup (1300m) at Eagle Farm during the 2013 Brisbane Winter Racing Carnival.

Other notable Gilgai Stakes nominations include: Group 1 winner Platelet, Robert Heathcote-trained Griffon, the resuming Steps In Time and Bobbie Lewis Quality placegetter Albrecht.

About The Author

Thomas Hackett

Thomas is a passionate and opinionated racing journalist and punter who has been obsessed with horse racing since he backed Saintly to win the 1996 Melbourne Cup. An international racing enthusiast, he has his finger on the pulse of racing news not just from Australia but all around the world.


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