After being overlooked for an invite to Hong Kong’s International Race Day next month the Lionel Cohen-trained Aeronautical will instead race in the Listed 2013 Starlight Stakes in Sydney this Saturday.
Earlier this season Cohen was hoping his Encosta De Lago five-year-old Aeronautical could be Hong Kong-bound in December for a shot at the esteemed $2 million Hong Kong Sprint.
They failed to attract an invitation however and so must instead settle for a shot at the $100,000 Listed Starlight Stakes (1100m) at Rosehill Gardens this Saturday.
The Starlight will likely round out the gelding’s three run spring prep before Aeronautical is prepared for an autumn comeback where they’ll be aimed at bigger things.
It’s been a long time between drinks for the former promising juvenile who hasn’t won a race in 13 months.
They did come close to the big time last Melbourne Autumn Racing Carnival however when just a long neck away third to Shamexpress in the $1 million Group 1 Newmarket Handicap (1200m).
That campaign ended on a low however when they failed to defeat any of their 17 rivals in the Group 1 Doncaster Mile (1600m) run in the mud on April 20.
After a five month break they returned in Sydney this September and were beaten a mere nose first-up by Sessions in the Group 2 The Shorts (1100m), an effort Cohen knows cost them an invite to the Hong Kong races on December 8.
“He needed to win the Shorts to get an invitation,” Cohen told AAP this week.
“And I thought he had.”
Their latest run was at Flemington back on October 5 when a disappointing ninth to dual Group 1 winning mare Platelet in the Group 2 Gilgai Stakes (1200m) where they suffered from breathing problems when mucus was found in his trachea post-race.
Cohen is convinced those respiratory issues have since been rectified and Aeronautical is ready to go this weekend.
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