Forsman proud of Aegon’s efforts

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  • May 02, 2023
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Cambridge trainer Andrew Forsman was justifiably pleased with the efforts of his well-travelled galloper Aegon, who attacked the line well under James McDonald for fifth in Sunday’s Gr.1 Champions Mile (1600m) in Hong Kong won by superstar Golden Sixty for a record third year in succession.

Despite the addition of blinkers, Aegon was still tardy from the barrier and travelled at the rear throughout before making good headway in the straight to get within four lengths of Golden Sixty at the post.

“I was rapt with his run. We were worried that he would make a mess of the start, which he did with the blinkers on, which obviously didn’t help,” Forsman said.

“But probably in that field and with the way they run their races, he was always going to get back in that position.

“They just went steady around the bend and left him flat-footed when they sprinted. They are just so quick those horses. But to his credit he really dug in and he was really strong through the line.

“James got off him and said he wants 2000m.”

With that comment, Forsman said it opens up a host of options and he wouldn’t rule out another trip to Hong Kong in December for the Gr.1 Hong Kong Cup (2000m), should the Hong Kong Jockey Club extend an invite.

“A lot of it comes down to tempo and what horses you are racing against too,” Forsman said. “I suppose if you were going to go to Hong Kong again and attempt something like that, maybe in Hong Kong he needs 2000m whereas he needs a mile in New Zealand.

“I guess you would have to weigh-up the strength of what was going to be in that race but we probably would consider it. He is the right horse. A lot of horses have other targets with autumn and spring campaigns, whereas we can set him for that sort of race quite easily.”

A Group One winner at three, the five-year-old gelding has won six of his 20 career starts and sported blinkers for the first time on Sunday.

“I think the blinkers probably worked,” Forsman said. “If he had raced and was off the bit like he was in the All-Star Mile he would have really been left behind last night. They ran 1.33.98.”

The 40-year-old trainer, who has regularly travelled horses trans-Tasman, spoke in glowing terms regarding the Hong Kong experience, with Aegon banking HK$660,000 (NZ$134,000) for connections.

“It has been great. The Hong Kong Jockey Club have just been so obliging. They couldn’t do enough for us and it has been a great experience,” Forsman said.

“I’d definitely recommend it to anyone and I’d be more than happy to come back up here and do it again if I have the right horse.”

Aegon will now quarantine for a few weeks before returning to Melbourne, where Forsman has a base at Macedon Lodge.

“At this stage, we haven’t really made a plan as to what to target with him. We will get home and then worry about it in a month.”

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