Aeronautical is one of 13 sprint-mile runners set to tackle the Listed Chester Manifold Stakes (1400m) at Flemington Racecourse on Saturday.
Although the Lionel Cohen-trained gelding has not run over 1400 metres since February 2013, the trainer believes the six-year-old will handle the step up in distance with ease. He will jump from barrier five with Brad Rawiller to ride.
Aeronautical has won one of his five starts over the distance but not since 2012 in Sydney. Yet due to his recent form, Cohen believes it is the perfect time to step up and the gelding will relish the distance.
“I think he will prefer the 1400 metres now,” Cohen told Sky Racing.
“I’ve known for a while I’ve been wanting to run him over 1400 so he will get his chance on Saturday.
“I like his barrier and I expect a nice run for him.”
Aeronautical finished second last in the Listed Tattersalls Club Lightning (1100m) first up on October 18 before finishing midfield in both the Listed Starlight Stakes (1100m) and Group 3 Standish Handicap (1200m).
Despite Cohen’s confidence, Aeronautical has seen his price drift out to $21 from $17 in the betting market at Ladbrokes.com.au for which Red Excitement is the firm favourite at $3.80.
“I just think the tempo and the extra 200 metres brings him into the race and gives him the opportunity to be more competitive,” Cohen said.
Defending Chester Manifold Stakes champion Anlon has his work cut out for him in defending his crown after he beat home just one horse in the Listed Christmas Stakes (1200m) last time out. Coupled with the fact the gelding will jump from the widest gate, trainer Darren Weir is not confident in his chances.
“He has drawn tricky and he didn’t run well enough first-up,” Weir said.
“His trackwork has been good, so hopefully he can do something on Saturday.”
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