By Ray Hickson
It seems if star Kiwi three-year-old Aegon is able to maintain his unbeaten run at his Sydney debut on Saturday his co-trainer Andrew Forsman will head into the autumn bullish about the Group 1 targets he has ahead.
Forsman, who co-trains with Murray Baker, isn’t doubting Aegon’s talent but is keeping his expectations on the cautious side going into the Group 2 $400,000 City Tattersalls Club Hobartville Stakes (1400m) at Rosehill.
The gelding has won four from four, including the Group 1 2000 Guineas (1600m) in November, and that record has been respected with TAB listing him as the $3.90 favourite on Wednesday.
“I think the form around him is good enough, he’s not an easy watch but he gets the job done without putting a big space in them and looking like a superstar,’’ Forsman said.
“He has good ability and he will measure up it’s just at what distance.
“Initially we thought the Randwick Guineas is an ideal race but when you get beyond a mile it becomes a bit easier as the sharper ones drop back to sprint trips.
“We’d love to be able to get him to a Derby, whether he’s a real stayer I don’t know but maybe he could get away with it on ability.”
Aegon stands as the $6 equal favourite with TAB for the Group 1 Randwick Guineas (1600m) on March 6, $8 favourite for the Group 1 Rosehill Guineas (2000m) two weeks later and is a $15 chance in next month's Group 1 Australian Derby so those markets are set for a shake up.
He comes to Sydney on the back of a game win in the Karaka 3yo Million (1600m) at Ellerslie on January 23 where he held off Jamie Richards’ Amarelinha who confirmed the form by winning at Te Rapa last weekend.
Forsman likens the horse to Madison County, also a 2000 Guineas winner, who finished second to Angel Of Truth in the 2019 Australian Derby.
Hugh Bowman rides Aegon on Saturday and Forsman said expect him to settle not a lot better than midfield in the run.
“He’s not brilliant out of the gates, his natural pattern or where he seems comfortable is midfield or back of midfield,’’ he said.
“I don’t think he is ever going to be right up there contesting the pace.
“He’s coming off a bit of a freshen up after running at a mile. We’ve tried to keep him as fresh as we can so the niggly thing is dropping to 1400m against some pretty sharp horses.”
Last year’s Australian Derby winner Quick Thinker returns to Sydney in the NSW Jockeys Association Handicap (1400m) where he will get conditions to suit after failing on harder tracks in Melbourne in the spring.
What a race! 2000 Guineas winner Aegon digs in for the fight and fends off the challenge from Amarelinha to take out the Karaka Million 3YO Classic for Murray Baker and @ForsmanAndrew pic.twitter.com/V6VoLCKhMl
— TAB Racing (@TAB_Racing) January 23, 2021
He’ll be lumped with 62kg but Forsman said the four-year-old has enjoyed a trouble free build up and while he doesn’t expect a result on Saturday he is anticipating a positive return.
Of course as a spring three-year-old he won the Ming Dynasty over 1400m at Rosehill on a heavy track so he’s more than comfortable in the surrounds.
“He’s had a really good preparation, I don’t think we could have done it better, and if he gets give in the track I think he can win a decent race,’’ Forsman said.
“That’s why we’ve taken him to Sydney. The weight will be the key thing first-up off a break against race fit horses, you’d think he would struggle a little bit but it wouldn’t surprise if he ran a cheeky race.
“He’s right where we want him to be, I don’t think I’ve seen him in the sort of form as he is now.”
The Chosen One is the third of the Baker/Forsman horses to land in Sydney this week and he’ll be aimed at the Group 1 Sydney Cup (3200m).