Paul O’Sullivan takes a deep breath and crosses his fingers every time his tough veteran Aerovelocity trials, but all looks well for the world class sprinter ahead of the Group Two Premier Bowl at Sha Tin on Sunday, October 23.
The way Aerovelocity burst from the barriers at the start of a 1,200m dirt trial on Tuesday morning and then cruised through his work for jockey Zac Purton was a strong indication the eight-year-old is in full health.
“He is the one horse I don’t like to watch when he trials,” O’Sullivan said of his 2014 Hong Kong Sprint winner, who suffered a heart irregularity in last year’s Premier Bowl and then a bout of colic in Japan in March. “This time last year we were in a bit of trouble with him, he didn’t trial well and in time we found he had a problem. He has had a much better preparation this time around.”
Even though Aerovelocity looked full of running in his trial, leading all of the way under a hold by Purton in a time of 1:10.7, O’Sullivan said the horse’s preparation is aimed at peaking on December 11 for the Group One Longines Hong Kong Sprint.
“He is eight-years-old now so he will probably take a run, but we will try and peak him in December, so far he is on the right track,” he said.
Purton agreed with O’Sullivan’s take on Aerovelocity’s current fitness levels.
“He is probably only about 80 per cent fit at the moment, it was just a matter of making sure he is heading in the right direction,” Purton said. “He is doing that, he is doing everything we want him to do. He pulled up and had a good blow, he is going to keep on improving and by the time we get to the Hong Kong Sprint he should be at his peak.”
Aerovelocity had already had one trial over 1,050m and even though a final 400m section of 22.2 seconds was respectable, Purton said the competitive galloper was “taking care of himself”.
“He did what he always does, he showed good speed early and he let down nicely in the straight, but when he is out there in front like that, with no rivals around him, he tends to have more of a bludge,” Purton said.