Plenty of Winning Heart

Date: 22 Feb 2020

Plenty of Winning Heart

The incredible weekend started with another win by leading Singapore trainer Mark Walker and the Kiwi horse Heart of Courage, who showed plenty ...

The leading trainer and rider combined on Friday night when Heart of Courage  (5 g Fastnet Rock - Myrrh, by Nassipour) won the $30,000 Class 5 1100 metres at Kranji Racecourse in Singapore.

Trained by Mark Walker and ridden by Vlad Duric, Heart of Courage began well to lob along in second and kept extending on an advantage taken at the 200m before going on to win comfortably. 

Walker ended last season (Dec. 8) with 73 wins to claim his third title as Singapore Champion Trainer, and leads the way with 16 wins this year, while Duric has followed on from his Champion Jockey title in 2019 with 18 wins since.

Purchased by David Ellis as a yearling at Karaka, Heart of Courage placed in two of four starts before transferring to Walker and took his earnings to $67,000 with his second win.

“All the ducks lined up and he was the favourite in a winnable race,” Walker said. “His wind is restricting him and we are likely to give him a tie-back operation and if successful, which a lot are, he could go on to be a reasonable Class 4 horse. 

“He got out to a mile in New Zealand, but because of his breathing I've kept him to sprinting here. It was good to get another win for the owners and Vlad (Duric) is a strong rider, didn't carry a lot of dead-weight, and suited the horse. 

“We'll dynamic scope him this week and probably go ahead and give him a tie-back operation.”

Heart of Courage is the year-younger brother of Heroic Valour. Also bought by Ellis at Karaka, Heroic Valour was a Group One winner and now standing at Raheen Stud, Queensland. 

Unbeaten in three starts as a two-year-old, including the Diamond Stakes (Gr. 1, 1200m), and second in the 2016 Two-Year-Old NZ Free Handicaps, Heroic Valour resumed with a win at three and was very game when finishing third in the 2000 Guineas (Gr. 1, 1600m). Narrowly defeated in the Karaka 3YO Mile (Listed, 1600m), he finished fourth in the weight-for-age NRM Sprint (Gr. 1, 1400m). 

Their dam, Myrrh, has left nine winners of 33 races. Her best performer was Triple Honour (Honours List). Trained by Chris Waller, Triple Honour won three times as a two-year-old, a good horse in any language, and culminated his seven victories by winning the Doncaster Handicap (Gr. 1, 1600m) at Randwick. 

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 1991 Melbourne Cup (Gr. 1, 3200m) for trainer Bart Cummings. 


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