Australia: Unbeaten Kiwi Aegon To Star In Sydney Racing Carnival

Sydney’s “Autumn Carnival” of racing is in full swing, with Randwick playing host to seven Group races this Friday night. Two events are at the elite Group 1 level, and an undefeated 3-year-old from New Zealand will be the focus of attention in the $1,000,000 Randwick Guineas. The Randwick card is available for livestream on the new Sky Racing World App and will be broadcast live on TVG (First Post: 8:40pm ET / 5:40pm PT).

The sporting rivalry between Australia and New Zealand has played out on many a rugby field, cricket pitch, and racetrack. Before the globalization of racing, Australia’s lucrative purses were susceptible to plundering only by horses from across the Tasman Sea. Trainer Murray Baker, the most successful “Kiwi” raider of all time, has captured more than 20 G1 races in four Australian states. His 2017 Australian Derby winner, Jon Snow, was named for a character in Game of Thrones, whose real name was revealed in the Season 5 finale to be “Aegon.” Now, the Baker-trained Aegon is proving a revelation on the racetrack: after winning his first four starts on home soil, he took Sydney by storm two weeks ago when dominating the G2 Hobartville Stakes.

Jockey Hugh Bowman has endured a topsy-turvy time since the record-setting glory of Winx’s career, but has latched onto another potential superstar in Aegon. After the gelding’s dazzling Aussie debut, Bowman admitted to being “ultra-impressed … he’s got the world at his feet.”

While Murray Baker is remaining in New Zealand due to coronavirus restrictions, his son, Bjorn, is fortuitously located in Sydney, having blossomed into a successful trainer in his own right. Bjorn began his career in partnership with his father and, since relocating to Australia, is ideally placed to provide a launching pad for Murray’s charges.

“I’m addicted to Australian racing,” said the elder Baker. “I love the thrill of taking a horse over there and winning one of their big races. I get withdrawal symptoms when I can’t find one to take over.”

Aegon, 6-5, dominates wagering for the one-mile Randwick Guineas, the seventh of nine races on Friday night’s card.

Second choice at 6-1 is Peltzer, who disappointed as favorite in the Hobartville but has one glaring stat in his favor: a perfect five-for-five record at Royal Randwick. Ironically, Peltzer is trained at Rosehill, scene of the Hobartville, yet is zero-for-four in races at his “home” track. While Peltzer can be expected to put his best hoof forward returning to Randwick, it is doubtful that the best effort of any Australian 3-year-old is sufficient to alter Aegon’s upward trajectory – or, if Aegon were to quote another character from Game of Thrones, “A lion doesn’t concern himself with the opinions of a sheep.”

Friday night’s other G1 feature is Race 8, the Canterbury Stakes, a $500,000 weight-for-age sprint at six and a half furlongs. Wagering is deservedly headed by Bivouac (2-1), last seen in Sydney when finishing second in the world’s richest turf race, The Everest. Bivouac subsequently won a G1 sprint in Melbourne; the Canterbury Stakes will be his second race this campaign – as was the case in The Everest.

The supporting card includes two juvenile races (the second and third) that warrant close scrutiny as key preps for the March 19 Golden Slipper. In particular, the clash of undefeated colts Profiteer and Stay Inside in Race 2 is a sumptuous prospect – both youngsters are held in extremely high regard and share favoritism at 9-5.

Long established as the world’s richest race for 2-year-olds, the Golden Slipper is just one of numerous highlights as Sydney’s Autumn Carnival unfolds. In fact, G1 racing will be on tap each of the next seven weeks as anticipation builds towards “The Championships,” a two-day extravaganza in April with purses totaling $21 million.

The Randwick card will be broadcast live on TVG this Friday night (First Post: 8:40 p.m. ET / 5:40 p.m. PT) alongside cards from Eagle Farm, Gold Coast and Hawkesbury. All races will be live-streamed in HD on the new Sky Racing World Appskyracingworld.com and major ADW platforms such as TVG, TwinSpiresXpressbet, NYRABets, WatchandWagerHPIbet, and AmWager. Wagering is also available via these ADW platforms. Fans can get free access to live-streaming, past performances and expert picks on all races at skyracingworld.com.

A native of Brisbane, Australia, Michael Wrona has called races in six countries. Michael’s vast U.S. experience includes: race calling at Los Alamitos, Hollywood Park, Arlington and Santa Anita, calling the 2000 Preakness on a national radio network and the 2016 Breeders’ Cup on the International simulcast network. Michael also performed a race call voiceover for a Seinfeld episode called The Subway.

The post Australia: Unbeaten Kiwi Aegon To Star In Sydney Racing Carnival appeared first on Horse Racing News | Paulick Report.

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