Cambridge Double - Angel Takes Flight

Date: 1 Jun 2023

Cambridge Double - Angel Takes Flight


Deserving of victory, Angels Wings (3 f Heroic Valour - Gowana, by More Than Ready) took out the $14,000 NZB Insurance Pearl Series Maiden Fillies & Mares 1300 metres on 31 May at Cambridge.


Positioned handily but unable to quicken on Heavy10 going in the Maiden 1200 metres on 14 May at Matamata, Angel Wings had placed in four of her eight starts and showed an appreciation of the poly-track when bouncing back.

Stable rider Opie Bosson had the drop on the leaders in third before challenging earnestly when rounding for the run home and she responded to urgings over the concluding stages. 

“It was a well deserved win, she seemed to handle the surface well and a really nice ride of Opie's,
 said trainer Mark Walker.

“She's been consistent for a long time and great to see her break through for John (Galvin) and the Fortuna Racing owners.”

Angel Wings returned $6.90 & $2.20 on the NZ TAB tote after running a good time (1:16.3) for the 1300 metres.

While preparing for her three-year-old season, Angel Wings caught the attention of stable foreman Nicole Shailer as having potential, which she has certainly shown and now looking to capitalise on a confidence building win. 

“It was very satisfying to see her win,” Galvin said. “She's been there or thereabouts at her last few starts, delivering some pretty good results without winning, and before striking a very heavy track last time.

“Today was a bit of an experiment, coming to the synthetic (track), which only came about because of the abandonment at Hastings last week.

“Opie reported that she handled the surface pretty well, so given there is a few more synthetic track meetings coming up presents a few more opportunities for her.

“She found a bit extra at the end and it's notable - we race a lot of horses on the poly-track in Singapore - you often see that up there that horses can make a dive near the line like she did.

“She was in a winning position on the home turn and it was just a matter of whether she could pick up the leader.

“She's a lovely big filly and still good in the coat, so we'll see how she pulls up out of this run and work out plans from there. 

“The family can actually run a trip, so maybe she could stretch out a bit in her four-year-old season.”

Angel Wings was purchased by David Ellis and Andrew Williams Bloodstock for $100,000, from the draft of KBL Thoroughbreds, at the 2021 Gold Coast National Yearling Sale, and owned by Fortuna Angels Wings Syndicate (Mgr: John Galvin).

Notably, Angel Wings provided the first win for her sire, Heroic Valour (Fastnet Rock), in New Zealand, while kicking goals in Queensland, where he stands at Raheen Stud, sitting within the top 15 Second Season Sires in Australia, after finishing fifth on the First Season Sires' List. 

Te Akau principal David Ellis CNZM purchased Heroic Valour (Fastnet Rock) as a yearling at Karaka and, known for his consistency at the very top level, he was rewarded with victory in the Diamond Stakes (Gr. 1, 1200m) at Ellerslie. That was the first two year old Group 1 winner for Fastnet Rock at the time.

Heroic Valour competed at stakes' level in 16 of 19 starts, winning four, being runner-up in seven, and fifth or better 18 times. 

“There has been a lot of talk by trainers about the progeny of Heroic Valour and they've got them going very well,” Ellis said. “And the trainers themselves are putting mares to him, which is a very good sign.

“I liked him (Heroic Valour) enormously as a yearling and bought him for our breeding syndicate. He was very professional, with a sensational temperament and a beautifully relaxed demeanour, and we rated him one of the best Fastnet Rock (Danehill) colts in the sale.”

Heroic Valour is a half-brother to Triple Honour (Honours List), who won three times as a two-year-old, a top horse in any language, and culminated his career winning the Doncaster Handicap (Gr. 1, 1600m) at Randwick, while the dam, Myrrh (Nassipour), left nine individual winners of 32 races. 

Their dam-sire, Nassipour, has always been regarded as a great stallion and famous for siring the terrific race mare Let's Elope, who was very impressive winning the Melbourne Cup for trainer Bart Cummings. 

Angels Wings carries a Danehill cross through the sire line of Heroic Valour and dam line of Gowana.

Gowana, by exceptional Australian broodmare sire More Than Ready (Southern Halo), won over 1100 metres and already left listed winner and twice Group One placed Harmony Rose (Glass Harmonium). 

Of note, legendary New Zealand stallion Sir Tristram sired the third dam Iwan.

Angel Wings was strapped by Jess Allen.


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