Valentine Breaks Opposition Hearts

Date: 21 Sep 2023

Valentine Breaks Opposition Hearts


Winning as a favourite should, Valentine (3 g Turn Me Loose – Fastnet Rose, by Fastnet Rock) delivered in the $18,500 Clothier Farms Maiden 3YO 1200 metres on 20 September at Matamata.


Showing potential last season as a two-year-old, Valentine finished second on debut in the 2YO 1100 metres at Trentham, won by subsequent Sires’ Produce Stakes (Gr. 1, 1400m) winner Pignan (Staphanos).

He displayed a good action in yielding ground to win a trial on 1 August at Te Rapa, before working to lead and fighting hard for second when resuming in the Maiden 1200 metres on 27 August at Matamata, and in similar style was able to break through at his fourth start.

Beginning swiftly to lead, but softened up throughout, Valentine travelled on a nice rein for rider Opie Bosson at the 600m and found another gear when asked to extend a furlong out, pulling clear to win stylishly.

“He’s still learning and has quite a high knee action that may be suited by a bit more give in the ground, but it was good win,” Bosson said.

Under clear skies on footing rated Good4, Valentine won by one and three-quarter lengths and paid $2.30 & $1.40 on the NZ TAB tote.

“He’s a nice progressive sort of horse and has plenty of size and scope,” said co-trainer Mark Walker.

“He was softened up in front and had to show ability to win like he did.

“He’ll keep improving with time, still being quite raw boned, so he’s got good improvement to come.”

Valentine was purchased by David Ellis CNZM for $80,000 at the Karaka 2022 Book 1 Sale, from the draft of Windsor Park Stud, and owned by Jonny Schick, director of Shaw’s Wire Ropes and Shaw’s Property Holdings.

Windsor Park stallion Turn Me Loose, a son of proven international sire and sire of sires Iffraaj (Zafonic),  won three Group One races: 2000 Guineas (Gr. 1, 1600m), Emirates Stakes (Gr. 1, 1600m), and Futurity (Gr. 1, 1400m).

Te Akau has had tremendous success with progeny of Fastnet Rock (Danehill), none more so than nine time Group One winner Avantage, while also experiencing success with him as a broodmare sire.

Valentine stems from a family of tough 10 time winning sprinter Trekking (Street Cry), who recorded Group One victories in the Goodwood Handicap (Gr. 1, 1200m) and Stradbroke Handicap (Gr. 1, 1400m), also six time winner and strong Melbourne Cup runner Tralee Rose (Tavistock). 

At the time of purchase, Ellis said: “He’s a nice colt, really athletic, and good moving style of horse with plenty of quality and class about him. 

“We thought he was great buying at the price, had been impressed with how the early progeny of Turn Me Loose have performed and he’s really starting to kick some goals as a sire. He was such a good racehorse.”

With four racing crops, Turn Me Loose has now sired horses to record over 100 wins, including nine stakes wins and Sistema Stakes (Gr. 1, 1200m) winner Licketysplit. 

Valentine carries a very strong and influential cross of super sire Danehill. 

Valentine was strapped by Loka Manu. 


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