Aegon’s co-trainer and part-owner Andrew Forsman can only hope Lady Luck will be riding on jockey Jason Collett’s shoulder in their quest for a share of Rosehill’s pot of gold this weekend.
Everything had gone according to script for the four-year-old’s tilt at Saturday’s AUD$7.5 million Golden Eagle (1500m) until the barrier draw landed him in gate 20.
“He went over on Sunday and he’s settled in well and had a gallop yesterday, his last one before he races,” Forsman said.
“It’s all up to Jason now and we just have to hope they run it hard and he gets the breaks he needs and can get a piece of it.”
Aegon’s spring campaign opened on a positive note when he ran fourth in the Group 1 Memsie Stakes (1400m), but he was below par when he beat only one runner home in the Group 1 Makybe Diva Stakes (1600m).
He was found to have blood in one nostril after the race, but a bleeding attack was ruled out by Racing Victoria vets following a post-race scope.
The son of Sacred Falls underwent further examination on his return home and no issues came to light with a trial victory at Taupo earlier this month convincing Forsman and training partner Murray Baker to send him back to Australia.
“We’re really happy where he’s at, condition-wise, and it’s just a shame about the draw. I guess somebody had to draw out there so we’re hoping for a bit of luck,” Forsman said.
“We honestly haven’t thought about another race beyond Saturday, everything has been geared around this one. We’ll see what happens and consider what options we’ve got after that.”
Meanwhile, the stable is happy with The Chosen One ahead of his third tilt at the Group 1 Melbourne Cup (3200m) next week despite his unplaced Group 1 Caulfield Cup (2400m) run in the hands of Damian Lane.
“He dug him up to get one off the fence and he was in among horses and they were only going steadily. Unfortunately, he over did it for the first third of the race,” Forsman said.
“He struggled to get going in the ground, it was a bit chopped up and not as good as he would have liked it.
“Damian galloped him on the course proper at Flemington yesterday and said it was great work. He has been really happy with him for the whole prep and we’re hoping for a good track and a reasonable draw on Tuesday.”
A jockey has yet to be confirmed for The Chosen One in the Cup with Lane waiting to see if another regular ride in Verry Elleegant is to take her place on Tuesday.
Stablemate Samarkand will also be in action after he missed out on a berth in Saturday’s Group 1 Victoria Derby (2500m).
“There’s a three-year-old race over 1800m on Melbourne Cup Day and Samarkand definitely runs in it and we’ll see what sort of field it is before deciding on Daario,” Forsman said.
Samarkand ran third at Moe in his Australian debut and finished midfield in the Group 3 Drummond Golf Vase (2040m) at Moonee Valley.
“They went fast enough, but he got pretty wound up in behind them and when the leaders stopped he had to try and squeeze through a gap and got stopped,” Forsman said. “He picked himself up and got going again and I thought it was a pretty solid effort.”
Daario made late ground to finish sixth in the Listed Geelong Classic at his most recent appearance.