Aegon claims victory in Australia. Photo / Getty
Aegon gave young coaching star Andrew Forsman one of the most emotional victories of his career with a bizarre Australian debut on Saturday to close off a golden hour for New Zealand racing.
Cambridge Galloper overcame a slow start to beat most of Sydney’s elite three-year-olds at the A $ 400,000 Hobartville Stakes in Rosehill just an hour after Matamata mare Probabeel dazzled at A $ 500,000 Futurity in Caulfield.
Probabeel is stunning after sitting three times wide throughout the race and stepping clear at the top of the straight to hold the Arcadia Queen, with the pair now dominating the market for The Valley’s A $ 5 million All-Star Mile in three weeks.
It was the best win of her career from Probabeel, but as beautiful as it was, it should come as no surprise to racing fans on both sides of Tasman as she continues on her path to becoming a great mare.
If she earns an All-Star-worthy gateway at The Valley on March 13, she can award another young Kiwi training star at Jamie Richards with the richest win ever earned by a native New Zealand-trained on Australian soil.
But it was Aegon who would surprise more than some Australians because he not only beat their Guinea rivals, he gave them a head start and hit them.
Coach Forsman also owns a stake in Aegon’s holdings and while he and training partner Murray Baker are used to winning elite-level races for other people, beating Sydney on one of his horses is a different matter.
“I don’t think I got too emotional after the race for a while,” said Forsman.
“I literally watched the race on my phone pull over the side of the road on my way home from Ellerslie.
“I got very emotional so I’m glad I was alone.”
Aegon is owned by the Zame family where Forsman and Baker won the ATC Derby with Jon Snow and while he could possibly win the classic in April, Forsman admits Doncaster against horses older than a mile may be a better fit.
The win capped a big day for the Baker / Forsman side after they won the Avondale Cup at Ellerslie with Robusto, where they also finished third with Star Tsar, both now heading for the Auckland Cup on March 13.
Another feature in Ellerslie, the $ 120,000 Avondale Guineas, is omitted by the favorite Rocket Spade, who, like many others, is racing to the Vodafone Derby on March 6.