Valiant Debut Varlorious

Date: 9 Dec 2023

Valiant  Debut Varlorious

Making a great start to his racing career, Valorious (3 g Heroic Valour – Maputo Express, by Lonhro) comfortably won the $25,000 Rangiora New World Maiden 1200 metres on 8 December at Riccarton.

Emulating her trial when beginning smartly to cross and lead before being collared late for close third on 22 November at Taupo, Valorious was again first into gear from barrier four, against a full field of 14, to co-lead on the inner and ran clear in the straight to score easily by one and a half lengths. 

Ridden by premiership leading jockey Warren Kennedy, Valorious was clearly best backed to pay $2.10 & $1.20 on the NZ TAB tote after running 1200 metres in 1:11.0 on the poly track.

“It was a lovely ride of Warren Kennedy’s to control the speed,” said co-trainer Mark Walker.

“He’s a horse with quite a big action, so once he was able to let him stride in the straight he came clear to win well.

“It’s good to know he can handle the poly track, as they have plenty of racing on the surface through the latter part of the season.

“He’s the type of horse that should continue to make progress mentally and physically with the trip away to our stables at Riccarton, and he’s sure to take plenty of confidence from the win.”

Walker said that Valorious would now be given his chance up in class when contesting the $40,000 3YO 1200 metres on Boxing Day at Wingatui. 

Owned by Te Akau Brave Express Racing Partnership (Mgr: Karyn Fenton-Ellis MNZM), Valorious was purchased by Te Akau principal David Ellis CNZM, who also bought his Group One winning sire Heroic Valour (Fastnet Rock), for $100,000 at the 2022 Gold Coast Yearling Sale, from the draft of Raheen Stud.

Heroic Valour, who Ellis also purchased as a yearling at Karaka, and now stands at Raheen Stud (Queensland), was known for his consistency at top level and rewarded with victory in Diamond Stakes (Gr. 1, 1200m) at Ellerslie.

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

The only Group One winning two-year-old son of Fastnet Rock (Danehill) at stud in Australia, Heroic Valour had the sort of reliability that has seen him make a grand beginning to his stallion career. 

Commencing stud duties in 2018, Heroic Valour has already sired winning progeny of nearly 70 races.

“There was a lot of talk by trainers about the progeny of Heroic Valour at the sale and they (trainers) were putting mares to him themselves,” Ellis said.

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

“Angels Wings provided his first winner in New Zealand for us last season and it’s great to see this bloke start with a win too.”

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

Dam-sire Nassipour (Blushing Groom) has always been regarded as a great stallion and famous for siring terrific race mare Let’s Elope, who was very impressive winning the Melbourne Cup for trainer Bart Cummings. 

The dam of Valorious, Maputo Express, is by Lonhro ‘the black flash’. Lonhro (Octagonal) was Champion Three-Year-Old, Champion Miler, Horse of the Year, and simply outstanding Australian racehorse that won 11 Group Ones. His progeny are highly sought after, sire of over 180 stakes winners including 18 Group Ones. Lonhro is a sire of sires and leading broodmare sire.

Bred by the Nolan family at Raheen Stud, Valorious carries a Danehill cross, as sire of Fastnet Rock, and through dam line of Maputo Express as sire of grand-dam sire Redoute’s Choice. 

Valorious was strapped by Hunter Durrant. 

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