Racing: Aegon can defy fickle form

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Racing: Aegon can defy fickle form

One of the hottest form races of the season so far could be won by the horse with the worst formline.

That is one outcome from the puzzle Aegon presents punters with in the $220,000 Rydges Captain Cook Stakes at Trentham tomorrow.

The group one boasts seven horses who have won in their last three starts as well as two of the placegetters in the Livamol at Hastings, Travelling Light who has won a 1600m group one on this track and one of the kings of Central Districts racing in Beauden.

And then there is Aegon, whose form reads 0-400 and has run second last in his last two starts. Yet, he is the $4.20 second favourite.

That formline would have seemed unthinkable when he exploded on to the Australasian scene last summer, winning the 2000 Guineas, a stunning Karaka Classic Mile and then thrashed the Aussies in the Hobartville Stakes in Sydney, his form so dominant he was the early favourite for both the Doncaster and the Derby.

Little has gone right since for the Cambridge class act, with wide draws on firm tracks against some of Australia’s best gallopers rarely a pathway to the winner’s circle.

So the horse who won his first five races hasn’t run a place in his next five but co-trainer, and part-owner Andrew Forsman, says those zeros in the form don’t really tell the story.

“He has been racing some of the best horses around Australasia and when you are doing that you don’t need much to go wrong,” says Forsman.

“But three starts ago he ran fourth, without much luck, in a group one in Melbourne and most of the horses he is racing this week would struggle to do that.”

Aegon was never asked for his best in an upside down trial last week but Forsman admits that and the four-year-old deteriorating relationship with Lady Luck make tomorrow a bit of a trip into the unknown.

“He seems well and really happy in himself,” he offers.

“And we know he is good enough to win. I don’t think he needs a wet track like some people do and I would be happy to see a good track this week because I think that will bother some others more than him.

“So he can win for sure but we are going there hoping things go right.”Aegon is not a big, bold weight-for-age galloper so wouldn’t want a rough and tumble mile but if he is feeling good about life tomorrow and Leith Innes can save him for one run down the long Trentham straight he could make a mockery of that form line.

Aegon trying to rediscover his groove isn’t the only storyline of the Captain Cook as the race comes with so many sub plots.

Favourite Two Illicit has been set for it specifically to get the group one stamp on her broodmare passport, something also missing but not quite as valuable for geldings like Prise De Fer, Beauden and Justaskme.

Brando is looking to lay some Trentham demons to rest and if either he or even Harlech managed a group one it might give them a chance at a few domestic girlfriends one day since they both still have the family jewels.

Earlier in the programme Forsman and training partner Murray Baker take one-start juvenile winning filly Wessex to the $110,000 Wakefield Challenge Stakes, which is a group two but the nine starters have had a total of six starts between them.

“It is worth taking a shot at with our filly because clearly she has ability but at this stage of their careers we are all guessing a bit with the travel and not having a gauge on the ability of the others,” says Forsman.

Weekend racing
** Trentham takes centre stage for domestic thoroughbred racing tomorrow.
** The Bonecrusher Stakes is the highlight at Matamata.
** From today all patrons hoping to attend any New Zealand race meeting must have proof of double vaccination.

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