Windsor Park-bred Aerovelocity will return to Japan for a shot at a second straight Group One Takamatsunomiya Kinen next month and trainer Paul O’Sullivan will skip the
Group One Queen’s Silver Jubilee Cup at Sha Tin with his record-setting
sprinter, opting against a step-up to 1,400m.
confirmed that Aerovelocity came through Sunday’s Group One Centenary Sprint
Cup unscathed and owner Daniel Yeung Ngai had given the green light for the
battle-hardened seven-year-old to return to Chukyo on March 27 for the ¥212
million (HK$13.8 million) event.
“He will be going back, and why not?” O’Sullivan said. “He went as
well as ever on Sunday and more importantly, pulled up well after the race. He
looks like he is back to his old self.”
who became the first Hong Kong-trained horse to win a Group One in three
different countries last season, suffered a heart irregularity in October’s
Group Two Premier Bowl first-up this term.
tough galloper bounced back with an authoritative win on Sunday to reclaim his
mantle as best sprinter in town and put overseas races back on the agenda.
Even though Aerovelocity has a Group Three second over 1,400m on
his record and there are four weeks between the Queen’s Silver Jubilee on
February 28 and the Takamatsunomiya Kinen, O’Sullivan and jockey Zac Purton had
agreed the horse would be better served sticking to 1,200m at Group One level.
he is a horse that puts them away at the 300m and then just grinds,” O’Sullivan
“We are not
sure he really gets the 1,400m against that calibre of horses. If we went to
the Group One races here, we would be facing a pretty hot field as well –
Gold-Fun is a distance specialist, and there could be a couple of talented
horses like Luger and Beauty Flame coming back from the mile.”
A trip to Japan will leave five weeks to return and prepare for
the Group One Chairman’s Sprint Prize at Sha Tin – a timeframe that O’Sullivan
admitted was “not exactly ideal”, but workable.
love there to be an extra week or two in between,” O’Sullivan said. “But Daniel
is great, he has already shown that he will put the horse first by skipping the
Hong Kong Sprint earlier in the season, and he has said that if we come back
and the horse isn’t right, that we can just put him away and wait for next season.”