Horses To Follow » Aeolus


Aeolus was the horse to take out of the Free Handicap at Newmarket on Wednesday. Settled in behind early leader Parbold on the near side through the early stages of the race, he travelled well for Graham Lee through the early stages of the race. Nudged into the bridle passing the three-furlong pole, he moved forward nicely, but his path in front was blocked by Parbold and Miracle Of Medinah. By contrast, favourite Shifting Power, who appeared not to be travelling as well as Aeolus at the time, was able to move wide of two leaders and move forward with momentum.

Aeolus sought a gap closer to the rail, but it never materialised. He went to go between the two early leaders two furlongs out, but that gap closed. He was able to move forward when Miracle Of Medinah started to weaken out of it at the furlong pole, and he started to accelerate impressively, but Shifting Power moved over towards him inside the final furlong, with the result that Lee had to stop riding until Parbold weakened out of it. By that stage, it was all too late, but he still ran on strongly inside the final 50 yards to go down by just a half a length.

This was an impressive performance by Ed McMahon’s horse. He was nicely progressive in four runs last year, he won a maiden and a nursery and he was second to Greenham Stakes runner-up Night Of Thunder in a listed race at Doncaster in October on his final run last season. He was stepping up in class here, and he was not especially strong in the market, but he coped with the step up well, off a mark of 101. As well as that, all his runs last year were over six furlongs, so he proved here that he could get seven furlongs well. He was possibly the best horse in the Free Handicap, there is every chance that he would have won with a clear run, and that makes him interesting, especially when you consider that the winner Shifting Power, was quoted at as low as 16/1 for the 2000 Guineas after the race. A £1,000 yearling, he is nevertheless a half-brother to some useful performers including Hezmah and Tartiflette, and he will be of interest wherever he goes next.

16th April 2014