Horses To Follow » Aeolus


Aeolus put up a really good performance to finish sixth in the Palace House Stakes on Saturday, and it is a performance that appears to have gone under the radar a little.

Settled towards the rear of the main group of runners on the far side in the early stages of the race, Ed Walker’s horse started to make ground towards the leaders at the two-furlong pole, but he didn’t appear to handle the Dip too well. Back on an even keep a furlong out, he picked up well as he met the riding ground. However, the half-gap that was between Take Cover and Kingsgate Native closed on him, with the result that Luke Morris had to check back and take him around towards the near side. This was deep inside the final furlong, it was just too late for him to make up on ground, but he finished off his race really well, he was closing on the leaders all the way to the line.

There were several things about this performance that impressed. Firstly, he didn’t have much luck in-running, and he can be marked up at least a little on that alone. Secondly, he raced in the big far-side group in a race in which it was probably an advantage to race near-side. The first and third, Profitable and Waady, were in the five-horse group that raced near side, while the runner-up, Jungle Cat, raced towards the near side initially before switching back towards the far side, but ultimately racing alone, between the two groups. It may have been down to pace, or it may have been down to ground, but, whatever the reason, the evidence suggests that the near-side runners were advantaged.

Also, Aeolus was weak in the pre-race market, and he was dropping down to five furlongs. He should do better next time now with this run under his belt and, while he probably can be effective over five furlongs on this evidence – this was his first run over the minimum trip – he will probably be even better stepped back up to six. He will be of interest wherever he goes next. He goes well at Newmarket, but he probably put up the best run of his life when he won the Group 3 Chipchase Stakes at Newcastle next June, and, looking ahead a little, he will be of interest if he goes back for that contest.

30th April 2016