Horses To Follow » Aerial


Aerial looked like another smart recruit from France to join the Paul Nicholls team after he made an impressive debut in Britain in a competitive two-mile-five-furlong handicap chase at Wincanton on Saturday. The son of Turgeon always travelled well, he moved up nicely to challenge at the fourth last, took it up from there and came clear, turning this competitive looking handicap into a procession despite making a mistake at the second last, winning by an easy nine lengths in the end.

This was good stuff from Aerial whose mark of 126 was obviously lenient for his UK debut. He clearly handles soft ground well, typical of a French-bred horse, and he won as he liked, with a decent field of handicappers stretched out behind him. A hike of 14lb appears harsh at first glance, but it may not be. It may simply be that a mark of 126 under-rated his ability considerably, and that even a mark of 140 under-rates him at least a little. Also, he has a progressive profile now, this was just his seventh start over fences and he is still only a five-year-old. It is worth noting as well that this was his first run in 170 days, since last November at Auteuil, so he could strip a fitter horse next time. Soft ground may be important to him, he is untried on good ground, so he it may be that Cheltenham isn’t the thing for him, but there could be a decent prize to be won with him on easyish ground this season.

19th February 2011