Horses To Follow » Aeolus


Aeolus put up a nice performance to win the Group 3 Chipchase Stakes over six furlongs at Newcastle on Saturday. Settled in by George Baker, last of the eight runners, through the early stages of the race, he moved easily to the near side as they passed the two-furlong pole. He stared to make progress towards the leaders under minimal effort from his rider but, when he did, they picked up from the front. Baker got into the drive position and, when he did, Aeolus picked up impressively. He joined the leaders at the furlong pole and moved forward to win by a half a length, with a bunch finish for second, third and fourth.

Even the bare form of this run is good. Runner-up Mattmu is a progressive young sprinter, a Group 2 winner last year as a juvenile who was only beaten a head in the Group 2 Duke of York Stakes on his debut this term. Third-placed Danzeno is a high-class and progressive sprinter, a Group 3 winner, while fourth and fifth-placed Eastern Impact and Watchable are high-class sprint handicappers. The five horses who chased Aeolus home are all officially rated higher than him. As well as that Aeolus came from the rear in a race in which they did not go a breakneck pace, and he was probably competing on ground that was faster than ideal.

This was the Araafa gelding’s 12th run, but it was only his second this season, his second since being gelded, his second for Ed Walker, and it is probable that he is an improved horse now. Winner of a listed race at Haydock last year for Ed McMahon, he shaped encouragingly on his debut this season behind That Is The Spirit over seven furlongs at Haydock in May, when he shaped as if a drop down in trip might bring about further improvement.

Saturday’s run was probably a career-best, and he can step forward from it again now. The fact that he coped well with good ground on Saturday gives him extra options, but he will be of greatest interest now when he gets back on easy ground. Six furlongs on easy ground is probably ideal for him. He will be of interest wherever he goes next, and he could be an interesting outsider in some of the very good races in the autumn if he gets his conditions.

27th June 2015