Sacred Falls Colt wins G1 NZ 2000 Guineas

Media Release - Saturday November 7

In what was a carbon copy of the finish to the Group II Hawke’s Bay Guineas (1400m) back in September, unbeaten three-year-old Aegon defeated Bourbonaire in a thrilling finish to the Group I Al Basti Equiworld Dubai New Zealand 2000 Guineas (1600m) at Riccarton.

The Cambridge gallopers had fought out a terrific battle in the Hastings contest, that went in favour of Aegon and it was déjà vu on Saturday as the pair went to the line at Riccarton locked together.

Aegon on the inside defeats Bourbonaire in the G1 New Zealand 2000 Guineas. Photo Credit: Race Images South

Once again, the photo-finish camera found a slight margin in favour of the Murray Baker and Andrew Forsman-trained Aegon as the gelding emulated the deeds of his late father Sacred Falls, who was also unbeaten when taking out the 2010 edition of the blue riband event.

Forsman, who shares in the ownership of the horse with the Zame family after purchasing him for $150,000 from the Waikato Stud draft at the 2019 Book 1 Yearling Sale at Karaka, was relieved to see his charge get the nod.

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“I didn’t know whether he had won or not, so it’s just starting to sink in,” he said.

“They were going so slowly (in front) and he was in a tricky spot so I was worried but Leith had a lot of confidence in him.

“It’s pretty special and really hasn’t hit home yet but I’m just rapt to race the horse with a great bunch of people.

“It’s been a great ride the whole way through.”

The Zame family, who operate a fishing business in Gisborne, have had plenty of success over the last few years, racing the likes of Gr.1 Australian Derby (2400m) winner Jon Snow and Listed Futurity Stakes (1400m) winner Rhaegar.

All three horses were identified and purchased as yearlings by Forsman, and Bart Zame said the partnership owes its success to Forsman’s keen eye.

“We have managed to hitch ourselves to someone that seems to know what they are doing and seems to know it pretty well,” Zame said.

“That’s all Andrew Forsman, he is very selective in what he has a crack at and you can see it showing in his strike-rate.”

Innes, who looked as cool as cucumber throughout, was confident he had got the better of Bourbonaire on the line.

“I just had no negatives the whole way,” he said.

“We were in a tricky spot but I was just so confident and had so much faith in him.

“I thought he had his head down at the right time (at the finish) but he carries his head low anyway so that probably helped him.

“It’s just amazing that eight years ago I won the race on Sacred Falls and today I could do it on a horse that is pretty similar in nature.

“They both aren’t very big but they put in one hundred percent and they know where the line is.”

Sacred Falls went on to win three times at Group One level in Australia before commencing stud duties at Waikato Stud in 2015 where he stood for five years before his untimely death in December 2019.

Sacred Falls died prematurely in 2019.

Aegon becomes Sacred Falls’ first Group One winner after three-year-old filly Salto Angel went so close to claiming that honour when finishing runner-up in Thursday’s Gr.1 VRC Oaks (2500m) at Flemington.

Out of the Zabeel mare Toss Up, Aegon has won all three career starts and over $329,000 in prizemoney. – NZ Racing Desk.

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Race Result - New Zealand 2000 Guineas Gr1 1600m

Riccarton Park Track: Dead(4) Time: 1:35.96
1
Aegon
T: M Baker & A Forsman J: L G Innes 56.5
3g Sacred Falls (NZ) x Toss Up (NZ) (Zabeel (NZ))
NZB Karaka Book 1 $150,000
V:Waikato Stud Ltd
B: Mr AC Forsman
2
0.1
Bourbonaire
T: S B Marsh J: S R Weatherley 56.5
3c Darci Brahma (NZ) x Star Guest (NZ) (Pentire (GB))
NZB Karaka Book 1 $120,000
V:Little Avondale Stud
B: Bourbon Lane Stable LLC / Marsh Racing
3
1.4
Marine
T: M & M Pitman J: M J Mc Nab 56.5
3g Ocean Park (NZ) x We Love (NZ) (O'Reilly (NZ))
NZB Ready To Run Sale $50,000
V:Ohukia Lodge Ltd
B: Mr MR Pitman
4
2.9
Lord Ardmore
T: S J McKee J: J Parkes 56.5
3c Reliable Man (GB) x Outshine (NZ) (Darci Brahma (NZ))
NZB Karaka Book 1 $65,000
V:The Oaks Stud
B: Go Racing
5
3.7
Rocket Spade
T: L O'Sullivan & A Scott J: T N Harris 56.5
3c Fastnet Rock (AUS) x Affairoftheheart (NZ) (Fusaichi Pegasus (USA))
Inglis Australian Easter Yearling Sale $425,000
V:Tyreel Stud, Agnes Banks
B: Hermitage Thoroughbreds Pty Ltd / Wexford Stables
6
3.8
Need I Say More
T: J W Richards J: O P Bosson 56.5
3g No Nay Never (USA) x Bo Bardi (AUS) (Fastnet Rock (AUS))
MM National Weanling Sale $65,000
V:Burnewang North Pastoral Rochester Vic
B: Kilgravin Lodge
7
4.1
Watchmaker
T: M & M Pitman J: C W Johnson 56.5
3g Pins (AUS) x Tick Tock (NZ) (Val D'Arno (USA))
NZB Karaka Book 1 $75,000
V:Waikato Stud Ltd
B: Brewers Bloodstock
8
6.6
Mister Reliable
T: S Autridge & K Shailer J: C J Grylls 56.5
3g Reliable Man (GB) x Galshaan (AUS) (Galileo (IRE))
9
7.0
Embers
T: A W Pike J: K Asano 54.5
3f Darci Brahma (NZ) x Smoulder (NZ) (Traditionally (USA))
10
8.3
Zoltan
T: K Rae & K Williams-Tuhoro J: T R Moseley 56.5
3g Iffraaj (GB) x Ebony Babe (NZ) (Ebony Grosve (NZ))
11
15.8
Unition
T: M Baker & A Forsman J: M Cameron 56.5
3g Fastnet Rock (AUS) x Diademe (NZ) (Savabeel (AUS))
MM National Weanling Sale $650,000
V:Coolmore Australia Jerrys Plains NSW
B: Boomer Bloodstock (FBAA)
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