The small field in this weekend’s Golden Rose probably isn’t to the liking of a lot of the horses, least of all the Lionel Cohen trained Aeronautical.
He’s renowned for getting well back in the pack during the early stages and really unloading across the final tow furlongs.
In fact during his starts to date Aeronautical has been near enough to last in all of his runs.
The smallest field he’s worked off was nine last start in the Rosebud where he was a full length behind the closest runner as they made the turn before really them all in across the straight.
A good pace was set up front early in that event though so naturally it’s the tempo that’s the initial concern for Cohen.
“I think I’d prefer the bigger field, stretch it a bit,” Cohen said.
“Obviously we’re all going to race a lot closer to one and other and I suppose the trick is who’s going to make the pace.”
Surprisingly, Cohen said if required to it could even be Aeronautical picking up a forward running position.
“My horse can if he has to, he’s been running from the back of the field purely because of the barrier draws that he’s had so we’ve been electing not to,” he said.
“I think he’s the kind of horse you can place him anywhere.”
One thing he says the horse won’t be doing is sitting back and waiting if the whole group decides to just plod along.
“At the end of the day you’ve got to run your race and you’ve got to ride your race,” he said.
Aeronautical has had a full month off after his last start and despite taking some criticism Cohen says the horse is in perfect condition.
“I’m very happy with the way the horse is at the moment, he’s in great shape right now,” he said.
“I have no problems not having had the run… he was pretty fit coming out of those runs, after his last run he didn’t have a lot of work but he was fit enough to race.”
He will be ridden by Nathan Berry once again this weekend, the jockey having followed him in his last two races and during trackwork.
“Nathan’s happy, he’s been riding him quite a bit at work here, I think he can make his own judgement as to what’s gone onto this run as opposed to the previous run,” he said.
The Golden Rose barrier draw has just been completed and the horses will jump from the following gates; Foxwedge (1) Flight Of Pegasus (2) Manawanui (3) Helmet (4) Smart Missile (5) Aeronautical (6).
“I’m not too concerned about the barrier, all we can do now is to enjoy the week and enjoy the race,” he said.