Aeronautical Remains On Track For Hong Kong Sprint

By: Thomas Hackett
November 12th, 2013

Classy sprinter Aeronautical remains on track to head to Hong Kong for the Group 1 International Sprint (1200m) on December 8, despite missing out on a run in a barrier trial at Rosehill Gardens this morning.

Aeronautical is set to fly the flag for Australia in the Hong Kong International Sprint next month.

Aeronautical is set to fly the flag for Australia in the Hong Kong International Sprint next month. Photo by: Steve Hart

Aeronautical was set to have his final public run in Australia in the 11th barrier trial at Rosehill this morning but the trials were abandoned after heat seven due to wet weather.

Trainer Lionel Cohen admitted that he planned on giving Aeronautical a solid hit-out in the barrier trail and said that he will have to reassess his plans for the five-year-old in the lead-up to his maiden overseas trip.

“We might look at trying to get an exhibition gallop between races at Canterbury on Friday night,” Cohen told TVN.

“There are a set of barrier trials at Randwick on Monday but that might be too far away because I’ve got to get him to Melbourne for a flight to Hong Kong on November 25.”

Cohen admitted that he was disappointed not to be able to give Aeronautical, who has had only two race starts this preparation, a serious run but is confident that he will have the son of Encosta De Lago fit enough when he takes on some of the world’s best sprinters in the Hong Kong International Sprint next month.

“It is not the end of the world, it is what it is,” Cohen said.

“He is quite a fit horse and he doesn’t take a lot of work.

“All he needed was a trial and then another solid gallop.

“I should be able to squeeze something in before we head to Melbourne and then I could look at giving him a good hit out when we arrive in Hong Kong because the race is not until December 8.”

Aeronautical has performed well at Group level in the past twelve months but has not recorded a race win since his victory in the Men Of League Central Coast Handicap (1400m) at Rosehill Garden over a year ago.

The five-year-old finished an impressive third behind Shamexpress and Moment Of Change in the Group 1 Newmarket Handicap (1200m) during the 2013 Melbourne Festival of Racing but was unable to replicate that performance in the Group 1 Canterbury Stakes (1300m), Group 3 Sebring Stakes (1200m) and Group 1 Doncaster Handicap (1600m).

He started his 2013 Spring Racing Carnival campaign with a narrow second behind Sessions in the Group 2 The Shorts (1100m) but failed to fire when he finished a distant ninth behind Platelet in the Group 2 Gilgai Stakes (1200m).

Cohen is hopeful that Aeronautical can become the first Australian-trained horse to win Hong Kong International Sprint since All Thrills Too in 2002.

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