Guineas Glory for Aegon (NZ)

Sunday, November 8, 2020

Aegon (NZ) claims the Group One NZ 2000 Guineas (1600m).

Aegon (NZ) (Sacred Falls) has followed in his sire’s footsteps, all the way from the Karaka sale ring to becoming an undefeated winner of the $500,000 Group One Al Basti Equiworld New Zealand 2000 Guineas (1600m) at Riccarton. 

Bought for $150,000 from Book 1 of Karaka 2019, Aegon scored his third win from as many starts with a superb performance in Saturday’s prestigious classic in Christchurch. He has already more than doubled his purchase price with $329,000 in stakes.

Trained by Murray Baker in partnership with Andrew Forsman, who shares ownership with the Zame Partnership, Aegon edged out fellow Karaka graduate Bourbonaire (NZ) (Darci Brahma) by a nose in a pulsating finish. The third and fourth placegetters Marine (NZ) (Ocean Park) and Lord Ardmore (NZ) (Reliable Man) were both also purchased at Karaka.

“What a race,” said the Zame Partnership’s Bart Zame. “What an amazing experience we’ve all had. We’re so grateful to Andrew Forsman and his training partner, Murray Baker.

“We have managed to hitch ourselves to someone that seems to know what they are doing and seems to know it pretty well. That’s all Andrew Forsman, he is very selective in what he has a crack at, and you can see it showing in his strike-rate.”

The Zame family and Baker-Forsman stable had previously shared Group One success with Australian Derby (2400m) hero Jon Snow (NZ) (Iffraaj), who was a $65,000 purchase from the 2015 Select Sale.

Aegon gave Forsman his fourth 2000 Guineas win as a co-trainer, all of them Karaka graduates. But this was his first time as a member of the ownership.

“I didn’t know whether he had won or not, so it’s just starting to sink in,” he said. “They were going slowly in front and he was in a tricky spot, so I was worried, but Leith had a lot of confidence in him.

“It’s pretty special and really hasn’t hit home yet, but I’m just rapt to race the horse with a great bunch of people. It’s been a great ride the whole way through.

“I liked this horse at Karaka because he was from the second crop of Sacred Falls, who was an outstanding racehorse and we thought he might start to kick some goals at stud. And he’s out of a Zabeel mare from a good family. His coat still hadn’t turned when he won the Hawke’s Bay Guineas, so he’s really only starting to come to it now.”

Aegon is emulating the feats of his famous father Sacred Falls (NZ) (O’Reilly), who himself was a $160,000 purchase at the 2011 Premier Sale. He was unbeaten in six New Zealand starts, including the Northland Breeders’ Stakes (1200m), Hawke’s Bay Guineas (1400m), Sarten Memorial (1400m) and New Zealand 2000 Guineas.

Aegon has now matched that Hawke’s Bay Guineas-2000 Guineas double, and with the same jockey on board – Leith Innes.

After breaking well from gate four, Aegon eased back and settled third-last as the multiple stakes winner Need I Say More (No Nay Never) set the pace.

Aegon was still near the back of the field with less than 400 metres to run, but then he powered up his big engine and sprinted past more than half a dozen rivals with ease. Bourbonaire went with him though, and the two fought out a desperate finish that just went Aegon’s way.

“He’s a special horse,” Innes said. “It’s amazing that eight years ago I won the race on Sacred Falls and today I could do it on a horse that is pretty similar in nature.

“They both aren’t very big, but they put in 100% and they know where the line is.”

A half-sister to Aegon, by Tivaci, was a $13,000 purchase from the 2020 National Weanling Sale on Gavelhouse Plus.

Runner-up Bourbonaire cost $120,000 in Book 1 of Karaka 2019. He has placed in the Hawke’s Bay Guineas, Sarten Memorial and 2000 Guineas, earning $119,900 in stakes from his five starts to date.

Marine, who finished third, was bought for $50,000 from the 2019 Ready to Run Sale. He has had four starts for a win and three placings, earning $56,150 in prize-money.


Waikato Stud


Mr AC Forsman (Waikato)


Sacred Falls – Toss Up


Lot 485, Karaka 2019 Book 1, $150,000

Bred by

Waikato Stud