Aomen is currently rated an outsider in 2015 Hollindale Stakes betting markets, but trainer Anthony Cummings believes that the veteran gelding is capable of springing an upset in the Group 2 event at the Gold Coast this afternoon.
Aomen made his Australian racing debut, after previously being placed at Group level in Hong Kong, with a tough win over Monton and Charlie Boy in the Myer Spring Fashion Handicap (1400m) in October last year, but the Shamardal gelding failed to fire in the Listed MSS Security Sprint (1200m) at Flemington on November 4 and the Group 2 Villiers Stakes (1600m) at Royal Randwick on December 13.
The seven-year-old returned to racing with a fair performance in the Group 3 Liverpool City Cup (1300m) at Warwick Farm on February 28 and he wasn’t beaten by a long way in the Group 2 Ajax Stakes (1500m) at Rosehill Gardens on March 14 before he faded to finish ninth after he led in the early stages of the Group 1 Queen Elizabeth Stakes (2000m) at Royal Randwick on April 11.
Cummings told Sky Racing HQ this morning that he was happy with the performance of Aomen in the Queen Elizabeth Stakes and he is confident that the gelding will be more than competitive if he is able to produce an improved performance of a firmer Gold Coast track in the 2015 Hollindale Stakes.
“He has always been handy in his runs and he has always been better on top of the ground also,” Cummings said.
“I thought his run during The Championships (in the Queen Elizabeth Stakes) was excellent considering he wasn’t comfortable on the ground, but he gets back on top of the ground.
“If he is able to get back to the form that saw him win first-up then he will probably not be too far away from them.”
Aomen is currently available at 2015 Hollindale Stakes odds of $41 and is the extreme outsider of the field along with Matt Laurie-trained Escado and veteran stayer Precedence.
Prolific Group 1 winning mare Silent Achiever ($5) and David Vandyke-trained Arabian Gold ($5) remained locked in a battle for favouritism with Ladbrokes, while the likes of triple Group 1 winner Foreteller ($10 out to $11), imported galloper Moriarty ($7.50 out to $9), Queensland Derby winner Hawkspur ($8 out to $10), John Thompson-trained Hooked ($6.50 out to $7.50) and local hopeful Rudy ($12 out to $14) have all been on the drift.