Trainer Lionel Cohen is hopeful that Aeronautical can be ridden closer to the speed than his usual racing pattern in the 2014 Black Caviar Lightning Stakes at Flemington this weekend.
Aeronautical is generally settled towards the tail of the field before storming home with a strong finishing burst, as he did when he won the Listed Razor Sharp Handicap (1100m) last preparation, but Cohen told Racing Ahead this morning that he believes the Encosta De Lago gelding will need to be ridden closer to the pace to be a winning chance in the Group 1 event this weekend.
“The 1000 is always going to be a bit sharp for him, but down the straight hopefully he can travel back and not be too far out of his ground like he does when he is coming around a turn sometimes,” Cohen said.
“If he is travelling in his comfort zone and he can finish it off then I expect him to run a big race.”
The Group 1 Newmarket Handicap (1200m) at Flemington on March 8 is the major autumn goal for Aeronautical, after finishing third behind Shamexpress in the 2013 edition of the race, and Cohen is confident that the five-year-old will be primed for the Group 1 event after running in the Black Caviar Lightning Stakes this weekend.
However, Cohen believes that Aeronautical is forward enough to run a big race this weekend and revealed that he could not be happier with the condition of his star galloper ahead of his return to racing.
“I wasn’t quite sure how to go into the Newmarket; it was going to be tricky going in without a run,” Cohen said.
“This race down the straight works out well and he will take improvement.
“Having said that he is particularly well at the moment and I think he is taking it (his work) better than ever.
“He is looking good and his weight is good; I don’t think I could be much happy with him at the moment.”
Aeronautical had a disrupted 2013 Spring Racing Carnival campaign, after being found to be suffering from the thumps following the Gilgai Stakes, but he returned to the winners stall with his win in the Razor Sharp Handicap.
Cohen believes that it was key that Aeronautical finished his preparation with a win in Sydney and said that the talented sprinter took a great deal of benefit out of the win.
“His last run when he won the Razor Sharp, he came off that run in Melbourne when we had that problem and it was important to get him back and get him back winning,” Cohen said.
“I had him well enough on the day and he was good enough to win, but I think that he is much better for that win and that run.”
Aeronautical has recorded two wins in Listed races, but is yet to record a race win at Group level.