Horses To Follow » Aerial


Aerial ultimately did well to win the Greatwood Gold Cup at Newbury on Saturday as he jumped out to his right at many of his fences. He was quite far back early on, and he was still no better than in a share of eighth as they turned out of the back straight, Ruby Walsh having to nudge him along after jumping the cross fence. His jumping to his right was even a little more pronounced up the home straight, with no horse on his outside, as there had been down the back straight, and, having stuttered into the final fence, he had about four lengths to find on Dan Breen as they set off up the run-in. He found plenty for pressure though, and stayed on strongly to force his head in front right on the line.

This trip is clearly a minimum for Aerial now, he should be better stepped up in trip. Despite going up 6lb to a mark of 155, there could still be much more to come from him stepped up to three miles now. Given that he was out to his right most of the way here, he should be better back on a right-handed track – he was very impressive when winning a graduation chase at Ascot in December, when he beat Giorgio Quercus, form that looks even better now than it did at the time. He paid the price for chasing the strong pace set by The Giant Bolster at Cheltenham on his previous run, The Giant Bolster is a very good horse on his day and, although Aerial finished fourth in the Paddy Power on his first run of the season, Cheltenham is probably not his track. He was ridden more patiently here and that seemed to suit him.

Paul Nicholls’s horse remains progressive and interesting, and he should progress even further for the move to three miles and if raced now on a right-handed track. It could just be that Punchestown is the place for him now this season, he may even be good enough to contest the Gold Cup there, a race that is often a weakish Grade 1. He probably has more to offer than is generally recognised after this win, and he remains of interest.

3rd March 2012