Horses To Follow » Air Pilot

Air Pilot

Air Pilot did well to finish as close as he did in third place behind Maverick Wave and Cannock Chase in the Huxley Stakes at Chester on Thursday.

Settled back fourth of the five runners through the early stages of the race by Richard Kingscote, he always just looked a little ill at ease on the tight turning track. He was the first horse under pressure as they started the turn for home, and it looked like he was going to fade out of it but, once he straightened up for home, he finished best of all. About two lengths behind Cannock Chase passing the furlong pole, he closed all the way to the line under just a hands-and-heels ride to get to within a neck of the Sir Michael Stoute horse, who was in turn a half a length behind the winner Maverick. It was a good race run at a solid pace and in a good time, bang on Racing Post par.

This was a fine run from Ralph Beckett’s horse on his first run for 187 days. He was the only one of the five runners who was making his seasonal debut, so it is reasonable to expect that he will come on for this run. He remains a really interesting horse. Second on his racecourse debut in France three years ago as a three-year-old, he was off the track after that until he made his debut for Beckett in a 12-furlong maiden at Doncaster last April. He finished second in a good 10-furlong handicap at Epsom on Derby weekend last year off a mark of 83, and he progressed from there last autumn on easy ground to win two races from three attempts, including a listed race at Newmarket on his final run, and to finish a close-up third in the Group 3 Darley Stakes at Newmarket.

He seems to be at his best at galloping tracks and ideally on easy ground. He should progress from this run, his seasonal debut and just his eighth run ever and, while he has the pace for 10 furlongs, he would be interesting stepped up to a mile and a half now again. There is lots of stamina in his pedigree. He probably does need easy ground however to be seen at his best.

7th May 2015