Andrew Forsman’s solo training career gained serious momentum 12 months ago and Saturday may again provide the Cambridge horseman with a significant milestone.
He enjoyed a long and successful partnership with the now-retired Murray Baker and celebrated his first black-type success in his own right when Francesca triumphed in the Gr.3 Rotorua Stakes (1400m).
A year on and Forsman will defend that title on Saturday with Oneroa and Wessex in the ITM-sponsored feature at Arawa Park while a landmark victory awaits across the Tasman.
He will be represented in the VRC Member Lisa Parnes Plate (1400m) at Flemington by Mr Mojo Risin’ who is a resident of Forsman’s full-time Australian operation at Macedon Lodge.
“We’ve only raced three from here, Privileged Son twice (for two placings) and Marroni once (sixth) so if he was to win, and that’s the hard part, he would be the first,” Forsman said.
“Saint Bathans is the other one we’ve got over here. He won at Sandown at the end of March and he had a few weeks out to freshen up and he’s just getting back into it now and ready to have his first bit of fast work since a break.”
On the domestic front, Forsman is happy with his Rotorua Stakes contenders with the only query the underfoot conditions.
“It’s a very even race so it’s a chance of black-type for both of them. They are proven on heavy tracks, but not at Rotorua and that can be a bit different,” he said.
“They both deserve the opportunity and if they handle Rotorua, I am sure they will run really well.”
Turn Me Loose filly Wessex, a daughter of Group One performed mare Trepidation, placed in the Gr.2 Eight Carat Classic (1600m) and the Listed O’Leary’s Fillies’ Classic (1200m) earlier in the season.
The three-year-old hasn’t raced since an unplaced effort in the Listed Karaka Million 3YO Classic (1600m), but was third in a recent open trial at Te Awamutu.
“Wessex has run well as a younger horse on rain-affected ground and how she goes against tougher older horses is a bit hard to line up,” Forsman said.
“At times, Oneroa has looked like she will handle really wet tracks, but she has been tripped up by the odd one.”
Oneroa was a sound second when resuming last time out at Otaki and the daughter of Shooting To Win is raced by breeders Jomara Bloodstock, whose colours will be sported aboard Mr Mojo Risin’ by jockey Blake Shinn.
The three-year-old son of Deep Field finished runner-up in the spring in the Gr.2 Hawke’s Bay Guineas (1400m) and Listed Wanganui Guineas (1340m).
He returned from a spell to break his maiden impressively at Avondale last month before heading to Victoria.
“It was obviously a very good win, but he is going up another level or two on Saturday,” Forsman said.
“He’s got a tricky draw and in a small field it will make it awkward as to what Blake does from there.”
Mr Mojo Risin’ has so far banked just over $47,000 from his five appearances and will earn a healthy A$82,500 if successful on Saturday.
“I think he will run well, he’s travelled over in really good order and is very bright,” Forsman said.
He is also looking forward to promising two-year-old Privy Garden returning to action in the Matamata Tractors & Machinery Juvenile (1200m) on Friday.
“She does go well and we’ve galloped her at home on the grass and that’s all we’ve done with her on rain-affected footing,” Forsman said.
“She seemed to work through it well so hopefully she handles it on race day.”
Raced by the China Horse Club, the So You Think filly is a sister to the Gr.3 Caulfield Classic (2000m) winner Thought Of That and finished fifth on debut at Matamata in January before a break and has subsequently placed in both of her trials.
Meanwhile, last-start Gr.3 Easter Handicap (1600m) winner White Noise is enjoying time out.
“He went to the paddock and needed to have a decent spell. It was the right time to put him out and he’ll come back and have a spring campaign at home,” Forsman said.