Kacy Fogden had a poor school attendance record, which is unsurprising for a teenager on horseback, but her Tuesdays were even worse.
So bad in fact that she was placed in the dean’s class at Horowhenua College, so “they could keep an eye on me,” Kacy recalled.
But when Kacy realized the dean was also an absentee from school on Tuesday himself, she skipped college and rode with girlfriend Renita Beaton to the nearby Levin Racetrack, where they reunited with the local coaches Meanie and Andrew Davies.
“I would take the school bus home at the end of the day without going to school,” Kacy recalls.
Kacy Fogden is Golden Slipper dreaming with the very exciting Best Of Bordeaux (Picture: Scott Powick)
It’s been a long drive (literally) from the tiny neighborhood of Waikawa Beach on the lower end of New Zealand’s North Island, population 132 at the last census, to its first Best Of group winner. Bordeaux at Rosehill on Saturday in the Canonbury High stakes, and something never imagined, but now a Golden Slipper dream is real.
You might imagine associating Kacy Fogden with the Aquis brand and their aqua and black plaid colors, rightly so, and the $425,000 Snitzel colt she bought with hard-to-get credit, Best Of Bordeaux wears them, but the shy trainer and mother of two (Isabelle 7, Eva 2), took a long time to get a little noticed, not that she really wanted to.
“I hate reading or talking about myself, I’m happy to stay on the farm, I’m a bit of a loser, probably too pessimistic,” Kacy says.
“You read stories and think it’ll never happen to you, that’s always been me and I’m comfortable with that.”
Well, 29-year-old Kacy Fogden better get comfortable with Aquis’ ‘Linus cover’ release (check Charles Schultz Peanuts characters if you need an explanation) and ride with Best From Bordeaux to the Slipper.
Best Of Bordeaux takes off with the Canonbury Stakes at Rosehill last Saturday (Photo by Jenny Evans/Getty Images)
If this is just a simple case of the right place at the right time for Kacy, let’s go for now, but time travel is anything but simple and straightforward. It’s always what makes a story so much richer and more mature.
“My grandfather (Ashely) was a coach in New Zealand. He had good horses like Duty Free and Speculation, they were long distance champions, and I went to the races with my dad (Matthew),” Fogden said.
“I was betting on the sack, I don’t even know if I was a teenager at the time, but they let me put money in, it was pretty weird.
“I was so young, but I knew what I wanted to do.”
While Grandpa was a trainer, Dad was an owner, and Kacy’s job was to help him pre-train his horses on Waikawa Beach – before school, before dawn.
“It was freezing, it was awful, it was dark,” Kacy recalled.
“From our farm we walked backwards through the dunes to the beach. Dad would wait and I would walk up one end of the beach, turn around at the next town, a few miles then canter back, I’m sure he couldn’t see me, it was like landmarks like measurements, past the forests, etc. I was doing 14 hours a morning and then going to school, I had no interest for school.
Hence the Dean’s course and the bustle of Tuesday.
But it wasn’t racing as young Kacy’s initial interest.
“I wanted to be a dairy farmer. So, I worked on a farm, but I was still up at 2:30 a.m. milking the cows. I saw the school bus go by and I thought “idiot”, I lasted two years.
But the doors kept sliding. She came to Australia with a boyfriend at the time, who had a job with the grain farmers, Kacy got a job, not the one she loved, in polo at Canowindra between Orange and Cowra in New Wales from the South, but at least she was back on horseback.
Next sliding door to the local pub. It ended with Fogden on polo horses at Elyssian Fields in Canungra, soon to be part of the then unknown Aquis Empire.
“I spent a year in the Queensland season and then Aquis took over the farm and everything changed, we started buying racehorses and I was there from the start. I have to say I didn’t never been motivated by my career, i was happy to do whatever was offered to me, but i never thought something like this would happen.
So think of horses like Farnan, Prague, Dubious, Lean Mean Machine, the Aquis stallion making the list, they all came through Kacy’s hands. She broke them in, pre-formed them and then sent them to higher profile hands, no problem, it was the system, it still is.
“I remember when we started, driving mares to Coolmore to get served, I was riding the pre-trainers, we had broodmares and young horses, I was a jack of all trades and just happy to be implied. I guess I was their first employee (Aquis) and I’m still here.
So much so that she used credit from Aquis – well, they’ve spent millions on yearlings in Australia and around the world – to be able to buy under the Kacy Fogden Racing banner at last year’s Magic Millions.
This is despite the identification and endless success of yearlings in this process and the trading of the Aquis product for profit in Hong Kong.
“My agreement (with Beast Of Bordeaux) was to sell as much as possible. I needed Aquis to get me credit then I asked Gerry (Harvey) to stay and he took 10% asking me to prove myself first I sold 20% but Aquis was still behind me with 50% so I think they’re comfortable now,” Fogden said.
“I was just looking at my notes on him last night, he’s always been a pretty special horse, I wrote, runner, athletic, cheeky, not too big for a Snitzel and he hasn’t changed much.
“He was a pretty special horse. You could say $425,000 isn’t a lot for a Snitzel, but I never grew up on money, he was way over my budget, but when he got crossed, I know that my heart rate accelerated, but I held my judgment, then I panicked.
But Fogden remains backed by its Aquis safety net, trading horses with its Hong Kong clients is their only business, breeding stallions is another. She had a stable of 15 horses at the current Aquis training base on the Gold Coast track as well as the beautiful Canungra base where all the pre-trainers start before heading to Ciaron Maher or Annabel Neashem or to Aquis customers.
But she remains unwavering. Dubious is his favourite, a late colt. “He was run in here, educated and had some preparation, but he was identified by the team as a guy who stayed later. There was a group leaving for Melbourne in June and I kicked for him, he was so resilient, so natural,” she said.
Fogden only trained in her own name last year, the Aquis link will always be retained, but with her husband, respected blood agent Julian Blaxland, and their Newington Farm property not far from Aquis Canungra, she is about to reaffirm it. horseback riding, despite the salaried work at Aquis.
“What I’ve been fortunate enough to learn in my time is the traits and nature of all horses, the stallions of Aquis and to understand them and what could be improved,” he said. she stated.
“But the weekends are my favorite time, I see the yearlings on Sundays, and probably the only day I argue with Julian, normally on the feed run, I drive either too fast or too slow, but I gives a great chance to watch the horses, that’s what it’s all about.
What it may be for the reclusive Fogden is a Best Of Bordeaux Golden Slipper result.
Stable worker Tom Stevenson won’t be leaving the horse side at Gerald Ryan’s stable, likely via the Silver Slipper in Sydney and respected rider Leanne Aspros will make sure Kacy’s work is as smooth as possible to return to the Aquis house.
That’s the journey, and so the Horowhenua Council website can take you back there with this:
“On a night like this, cool off with a dip in the sea, or kayak along the estuary, or just spend the night skimming rocks, how many bounces can you get.”
One for the Slipper maybe Kacy?