Wily Kiwi trainer Murray Baker has made a habit of plundering Australia’s major races and he looks set for rich pickings this autumn with budding star Aegon.
The three-year-old crossed the Tasman with an unblemished four-start record and a lofty reputation.
After demolishing his rivals in Saturday’s Group Two Hobartville Stakes (1400m), his winning streak stands at five and his reputation has soared.
The gelding now sits as an outright favourite for the Randwick Guineas, Rosehill Guineas and Australian Derby and an equal top pick for the Doncaster Mile.
Winning jockey Hugh Bowman was wowed by Aegon’s performance.
“Obviously the proof’s in the pudding with the Murray Baker stable,” Bowman said.
“When they come here, they don’t just come here for a trip away, they know the right horses to bring and he’s had an excellent record.
“This horse certainly hasn’t disappointed me. I was ultra-impressed with him. He’s got the world at his feet.”
Aegon was slow to muster speed and settled worse than midfield as Peltzer, who was backed into $2.60 favouritism, assumed his customary front-running role.
But Bowman had a lapful of horse as he probed for an inside split and Aegon burst out of the pack to score by 1-3/4 lengths over North Pacific and Prime Star.
Peltzer tried hard to the line but his Rosehill hoodoo continued and he finished fourth.
Speaking from New Zealand, Baker confirmed Aegon would head to the Randwick and Rosehill Guineas before he decided whether to chase a sixth Australian Derby win.
“Obviously the Randwick Guineas is his next race and then he will probably go to the Rosehill Guineas,” Baker said.
“I guess we will know then if he is a Derby horse, or if we come back to the mile for a race like the Doncaster.
“It would be nice to win another Derby but I don’t know if he will run 2400 metres.
“But he is a very promising horse.”
Baker’s five Derby victories include the 2013 renewal with star galloper It’s A Dundeel and while he says Aegon is a different style of horse, he can draw parallels.
“He is a different type to Dundeel and those other Derby winners we’ve had,” he said.
“But Dundeel had a great sprint on him and Aegon is the same.”
James McDonald was happy with the performance of North Pacific after he was beaten as favourite first up in the Eskimo Prince Stakes.
“A big improvement. He’s going the right way,” McDonald said.