Aeronautical will drop back in class to contest the 2014 Hall Mark Stakes at Royal Randwick on Saturday and trainer Lionel Cohen is confident that his star galloper can bounce back from his poor showing in the Group 1 T.J. Smith Stakes (1200m) just under a fortnight ago.
Cohen included Aeronautical in the acceptances for both the Group 1 All Aged Stakes (1400m) and Group 3 Hall Mark Stakes (1200m) at Royal Randwick this weekend and told Racing Ahead this morning that he believes the 1200 metre event is the better race for the son of Encosta De Lago.
Aeronautical returned to the races after a brief freshen-up and clearly did not appreciate the heavy Royal Randwick surface, failing to beat home a single runner, but Cohen said that the five-year-old took no harm from the tough run.
“I think that it is a better race for him,” Cohen said of the Hall Mark Stakes.
“He came out of the T.J. with no problems; the conditions didn’t suit him at all and he was never in the race.
“We always had our doubts about running in the wet, but we had prepared him for the race and there aren’t that many races of that caliber around and we decided to take our chances.
“It didn’t harm him, he has come out of the race very good, and he is in excellent shape for Saturday.
“He is ready to run another big one.”
Cohen is yet to decide where Aeronautical will have his next race start; with both the Group 1 The Goodwood (1200m) at Morphettville on May and a tilt at the Group 1 races on offer during the 2014 Brisbane Winter Racing Carnival on the agenda for the talented sprinter.
The Group 1 Stradbroke Handicap (1400m) at Eagle Farm on June 7 is a race that could suit Aeronautical, but Cohen admits he is far by the prospect of running into another wet surface.
“There is a possibility that we will look at The Goodwood depending on Saturday’s run,” Cohen said.
“I worry about the Brisbane Carnival, especially The Stradbroke, because it is often wet and it is a long way off.
“We will get past Saturday and we will see whether we go for The Goodwood or wait for the Queensland Carnival.”
Tommy Berry, whose twin brother Nathan partnered Aeronautical to his maiden race win in 2011, has been booked to ride Aeronautical in the Hall Mark Stakes.