Fresh Aegon ready for Captain Cook

Aegon will contest the Gr.1 Rydges Captain Cook Stakes (1600m) at Trentham on Saturday. Photo: Bruno Cannatelli

Aegon has appreciated time between assignments from an early age and that selective approach continues to bring out the best in the five-year-old.

He has been sparingly raced throughout his career with six wins from 15 appearances and nearly $1.5 million banked from his efforts for Cambridge trainer and part-owner Andrew Forsman.

Aegon will bid to add to his record in Saturday’s Group 1 Captain Cook Stakes (1600m) at Trentham where he will typically front up in a fresh state.

“That suits him best, in the past as a younger horse he hasn’t coped too well with racing too closely together,” Forsman said.

“I don’t know whether that will be the case forever, but at this stage it’s what he appreciates.

“He’s not an overly big horse and doesn’t take a lot to keep him fit. He’s not quirky and is very easy to train and does seem to race better on the fresh side.”

Aegon, who emulated his late sire Sacred Falls with victory in the Group 1 New Zealand 2000 Guineas (1600m) as a three-year-old, hasn’t raced since a brief but successful Victorian spring carnival campaign.

He was a first-up winner of the Group 3 Moonga Stakes (1400m) at Caulfield and then came from well back off an outside gate to finish fourth in the Group 1 Champions Mile (1600m) at Flemington.

“The Moonga Stakes looked like a suitable race so we went over and had a go and he won so well and then improved up to the mile to give us confidence that he was back to near his best form,” Forsman said.

“From there, it was about looking for suitable options for him and what he does on Saturday will determine what we do next.

“I’m very happy with the horse, he’s done well. He’s had a little bit of an interrupted prep with the trip back home and he had a week in the paddock.

“He’s had some time out before he’s come back into it and that has worked well for him before so it shouldn’t be too much of a drama.”

Aegon will be ridden at the weekend by expatriate Kiwi jockey Michael Dee, who also enjoyed a lucrative spring with wins in the Group 1 Caulfield Cup (2400m) on Durston and the Group 1 VRC Derby (2500m) aboard Manzoice.

“I don’t know how many more races he’ll have in New Zealand so we were thinking ahead as to who might be the best fit,” Forsman said.

“We thought if it was a quiet enough weekend in Australia we might try and look for someone there who could stick with him next campaign and Michael was available.”

Dee has also been booked for stablemate and debut winner Bella Ragazza in the Wakefield Challenge Stakes (1100m).

The daughter of Tivaci earned an early chance at black type after success at the first time of asking at Otaki and has since been stabled there with Johno Benner and Hollie Wynyard.

“She has come through the run well and will have a gallop on Thursday morning and will be ready to go,” Forsman said.

Meanwhile, The Intimidator will step out in Saturday’s Mitchell Family Bonecrusher Stakes (1400m) at Pukekohe ahead of a return visit for the Karaka Million 3YO Classic (1600m) on January 21.

He finished runner-up on debut and the Toronado gelding has since reeled off victories at Taupo and Matamata.

“He’s been great and was a bit raw, but the penny has dropped pretty quickly,” Forsman said.

“He will go into Saturday with improvement to come and we wanted to give him the option of running right-handed before the Karaka mile so it’s ideal.”

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