Gold Coast trainer Kacy Fogden walked through the doors at Aquis as their first employee at the age of 21, now less than a decade later, she is looking to land one of the most coveted prizes in Australian racing for them.
Fogden will saddle up Best Of Bordeaux in the $5m Golden Slipper at Rosehill on Saturday in what will be her first ever Group 1 runner, and as a $11 chance, she isn’t there to make up the numbers.
If he were to win on Saturday, the $430,000 colt could be worth 100 times that to Aquis, the racing and breeding giants who own him along with Magic Millions supremo Gerry Harvey, so it would be fitting if it were Fogden who landed the prize for them.
In what started out as a small-time operation, Fogden has been there every step of the way that has seen Aquis turn into one of the biggest players in Australian racing.
“They only had a few race horses so it was looking after the spellers, then it turned into pre training a bit, then it was managing them, then like everything, it got bigger and bigger, they got some broodmares so it was a range of everything,” Fogden said.
“Once they were big enough, everything separated and got their own managers, rather than just us being the jack of all trades.”
It wasn’t until mid 2019 Fogden began training, well after the Aquis juggernaut had begun to take off.
“They’ve got there in a reasonably short amount of time but I probably didn’t think it would get this big,” she said.
Fogden gets bemused at the suggestion Best Of Bordeaux is a one-trick pony who has to lead at all costs to win, after doing so in his only two starts to date.
Kacy Fogden and Aquis boss Justin Fung at the Magic Millions sale. Picture: Scott Fletcher.
Boasting an unblemished record, Fogden says she is more than happy for Best Of Bordeaux to settle off the speed and run home, just as he did in a barrier trial at Warwick Farm on Friday under jockey Sam Clipperton.
“He is a versatile horse,” she said. “A barrier somewhere in the middle would be good but it really isn’t the end of the world if he’s wide, he has the ability to be wherever.”
While it may seem like the best investment of her life, Fogden still laughs when she thinks about purchasing the son of Snitzel at the Magic Millions last year.
“I was pretty nervous, it was easily the most I have spent on a horse,” she said.
“You can’t exactly get your mates into a $430,000 colt can you? So I asked Gerry if he would take some and he said he’d only keep 10 per cent until I proved myself as a trainer.
“He loves his horses and his breeding, he only does something if he genuinely wants to do it, you can ask for him to stay in horses and whatnot but he doesn’t have to – he only does it if he wants to.”
From that came the agreement that Best Of Bordeaux would alternate between the Aquis’ and Harvey’s silks each start.