Horses To Follow » Imperial Aviator

Imperial Aviator

Imperial Aviator appeared to get back on track with a fine run to finish third in the 10f handicap at Newbury on Saturday. Never far off the pace, he picked up well from the 2f pole and ran all the way to the line, finishing just a total of 2l behind the progressive winner Baydar.

This was much more like it from Roger Charlton’s horse. It was his best performance since he won the London Gold Cup over Saturday’s course and distance back in May. That was his last run in a handicap before Saturday. Since then, he had run twice, in the Group 1 Prix du Jockey Club, and in the Group 2 Great Voltigeur Stakes. He was well beaten in both, but the fact that his astute trainer tried him in those races tells you how much he thinks of him. Also, the fact that he was sent off at no higher than 6/1 for the Prix du Jockey Club, less than one-third the odds of the winner Almanzor, tells you how highly the market regarded him too.

The potential that he had after he won the London Gold Cup may yet be fulfilled. This 10 furlongs is a good trip for the Paco Boy colt, at least for now, and the fact that the handicapper raised him just 2lb to a mark of 99 means that he can contest another good handicap now. It is probable that that mark under-rates his ability, it definitely under-estimates his potential, and he will be of interest when he next races in a handicap. He goes well on easy ground, so the autumn ground should be ideal for him.

17th September 2016