Unbeaten Aegon (NZ) Strikes in Sydney

Sunday, February 21, 2021

Aegon (NZ).

Outstanding Kiwi three-year-old Aegon (NZ) (Sacred Falls) crossed the Tasman with a big reputation and an unblemished record, and a sensational first start in Sydney has done nothing to change that.

The $150,000 Karaka 2019 purchase scored an emphatic victory in the A$400,000 Group Two City Tattersalls Club Hobartville Stakes (1400m) at Rosehill on Saturday. He has now won all of his five starts, earning in excess of $1.1 million in stakes – more than seven times his purchase price.

Aegon made history in New Zealand as the first horse to ever win both the Group One New Zealand 2000 Guineas (1600m) and the $1m Karaka Million 3YO Classic (1600m). The next step was to take on some of Australia’s very best, and on Saturday he proved that he was well up to the mark.

Ridden by Hugh Bowman for Cambridge trainers Murray Baker and Andrew Forsman, Aegon was slow to leave the starting gate. But he soon recovered into a midfield position and settled into a smooth rhythm.

With 250 metres to run, Bowman angled Aegon towards a gap one off the rail and drove him through. Aegon quickened brilliantly, bursting through between Peltzer (So You Think) and Prime Star (Starspangledbanner) and leaving them behind.

The exceptional three-year-old opened up a commanding margin, crossing the finish line almost two lengths clear of the strong-finishing North Pacific (Brazen Beau).

“I hadn’t ridden him before this afternoon, but I was impressed with what I saw on replays, and the horse certainly hasn’t disappointed me today,” Bowman said. “I was ultra-impressed with him. He’s got the world at his feet.

“He didn’t jump particularly well. He was standing well, but he just missed it slightly. But it didn’t affect my position from a good draw. Mid-race, he was just in such a good rhythm. It was the sort of rhythm that you can see him stepping up to a higher class. That’s why he has the record he has – he doesn’t spend any energy mid-race.

“I could just tell when I followed him through the gap he was going to produce. He just loved the competition. I think he won with a bit in hand, to be honest.”

Aegon was bought from Waikato Stud’s draft in Book 1 of Karaka 2019 by Forsman, who shares ownership with the Zame Partnership. That same combination has previously tasted big-race success in Australia with fellow Karaka graduate Jon Snow (NZ) (Iffraaj).

Covid-19 travel restrictions kept Forsman on this side of Tasman for Saturday’s win, but that did little to diminish his enjoyment.

“It was a real buzz,” he said. “To see him win like that was very special. Hugh had him in a beautiful rhythm, and that was the key to it. He just needed that split, and thankfully he got it. He is a horse that can be held up and sprint off a pretty short run. It was a great thrill.

“It’s great for the New Zealand industry to show we can produce these horses, take them to Australia and compete. It makes our industry so relevant and it’s a massive lift for us.”

Aegon is currently in the care of Baker’s son Bjorn in Sydney.

“I was very taken with the horse today, he had a lot of presence here at the races,” the younger Baker said.

“Andrew bought this horse at Karaka for the Zames, and they’ve had some great success together before with the likes of Jon Snow. It’s a shame they couldn’t be here today, but they’ll be thrilled. It’s just a super result. He’s a very exciting horse, and it’s hard to think he’s not going to get better from here.”

Vendor

Waikato Stud Ltd

Purchaser

Mr AC Forsman (Waikato)

Breeding

Sacred Falls – Toss Up

Sale

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

Bred by

Waikato Stud Ltd