Trainer Lionel Cohen is delighted with the condition of Aeronautical and believes that the talented sprinter is better than ever ahead of the 2014 T.J. Smith Stakesat Royal Randwick this weekend.
Aeronautical has not been seen at the races since he finished ninth behind Snitzerland in the Group 1 Black Caviar Lightning Stakes (1000m) at Flemington on February and has been specifically prepared for a fresh assault at the T.J. Smith Stakes; with the Encosta De Lago gelding performing well in two barrier trials over 900 metres at Rosehill Gardens.
Cohen told Racing Ahead this morning that everything had gone to plan for Aeronautical ahead of the T.J. Smith Stakes and he is confident that his star galloper will run well this weekend.
“We have prepared him now and he has had two trials,” Cohen said.
“I personally couldn’t be any happier with this horse at the moment; I’m not sure that I have ever had him better.
“I was always going to go fresh and I am trying to get most of his races fresh when I can.
“This race was always going to be a fresh run.”
Apprentice jockey John Kissick has been booked to ride Aeronautical in the 2014 T.J. Smith Stakes and will be making his Group 1 debut in the $2.5 million race at Royal Randwick on Saturday.
Cohen is confident that Kissick will not be overawed by the big occasion in the T.J. Smith Stakes and said that he is happy to have the rising hoop on board because of the extensive work that he has done with Aeronautical in the past two months.
“For any stable trackwork riders are vital and he has been riding trackwork for me for quite some time,” Waller said.
“He has ridden as an apprentice for Chris Waller and he is good enough for his yard.
“He knows my horse well, he has trialed him both times and I would have had to look around for a jockey in any case.
“I think that he knows him as well as he can now and I have a lot of confidence that the moment won’t be too big for him and he is just going to be riding another race.”
Aeronautical is yet to record a race win in eight starts on rain affected tracks and did not appear to get through the wet when he finished at the tail of the field in the Group 1 Doncaster Mile (1600m) last year, but Cohen said that he is not overly worried about running the five-year-old on a wet track on Saturday.
“We are hopeful that we don’t get too much rain, but the track will be what it is,” Cohen said.
“We prepared him for this race and we have to take our chance.
“I’m not too concerned about the rain; I know at times he hasn’t performed, but I don’t think it was just the track that played a role.”
Aeronautical is currently available at the lengthy 2014 T.J. Smith Stakes odds of $101; with Lankan Rupee ($3.80) still a clear favourite from Buffering ($6) and Gordon Lord Byron ($8) in the betting market at Ladbrokes Australia.