Hong Kong challenge for Aegon

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  • March 23, 2023
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The well-travelled Aegon is heading to Hong Kong and a clash with local hero Golden Sixty in the Gr.1 Champions’ Mile (1600m) at Sha Tin on April 30.

Connections will forego another crack at an Australian feature in favour of a trip further afield with their son of Sacred Falls as he targets the HK$20 million (NZ$ 4.03 million) feature.

“We found out officially today after getting the heads up a couple of days ago. We were going to run him in the Doncaster Mile (Gr.1, 1600m), but when Hong Kong came up we accepted that,” trainer and part-owner Andrew Forsman said.

“It’s probably going to be a small field, which will suit him, with a few likely to run away from Golden Sixty.”

It will be a formidable test for Aegon as Golden Sixty has won 24 of his 28 starts, including the last two editions of the Champions’ Mile.

By Medaglia D’Oro, Golden Sixty was sold by Sam Beatson’s Riversley Park for $300,000 to trainer Franci Lui at New Zealand Bloodstock’s Ready to Run Sale and has banked in excess of HK$136 million in prizemoney ($27.5 million).

Aegon finished ninth in last weekend’s A$5million All-Star Mile (1600m) at The Valley but had taken no harm from the outing and still collected A$100,000 for connections.

“He’s come through the race well so he’ll go to Hong Kong. We nominated for the 2000m race (Gr.1 QEII Cup) as well, but the mile will be better for him,” Forsman said.

“It will be a great experience and he’ll run there and then go to the paddock.”

Meanwhile, Forsman accepted with both Full Of Sincerity and Mustang Valley at Rosehill on Saturday in the Gr.2 Tulloch Stakes (2000m) and Gr.2 Emancipation Stakes (1500m) respectively, but both are doubtful starters.

“Full Of Sincerity probably won’t run, we’ll likely decide on Saturday morning,” he said. “He’s drawn 10 of 11 and if the track comes up good it will be a 50/50 call.”

The Gr.1 New Zealand Derby (2400m) placegetter will go straight into Saturday week’s Gr.1 Australian Derby if he bypasses the Tulloch.

“Mustang Valley has drawn wide (15) as well and is another who probably won’t run,” Forsman said.

“If she had drawn well, she probably would have gone around but whatever happens she will run in the Doncaster the following Saturday.”

On the domestic scene, Forsman will be represented at Tauranga by Marroni and True Enough in Saturday’s Gr.2 Ultimate Mazda Japan Trophy (1600m).

“True Enough is going well, but Marroni has the fresh legs and his last run was very good and they are both well-weighted so it’s a suitable race for them,” Forsman said.

A last-start sixth in the Gr.1 New Zealand Stakes (2050m), True Enough will carry 55kg while Marroni, who resumed with a bold second over 1500m at Te Rapa, has 57kg in the set weights and penalties contest.

Another upcoming feature very much on the stable’s radar is the Gr.1 Courtesy Ford Manawatu Sires’ Produce Stakes (1400m) on April 1 with last-start winners Aprilia and Riproar and Bella Ragazza, most recently sixth in the Gr.1 Sistema Stakes (1200m), heading to Awapuni.

A call on the immediate future of fellow juvenile Ethereal Star, winner of the Listed Challenge Stakes (1100m) and runner-up in the Listed Karaka Million (1200m), has yet to be made.

She will either go to Sydney for the Gr.2 Percy Sykes Stakes (1200m) on April 8 or be spelled.

“We’ll probably decide at the end of next week after she’s had a couple of gallops, but she will be going to Melbourne in the spring,” Forsman said.

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