Champion sire Fastnet Rock posted a stakes quinella in the Listed Reid & Harrison (1980) Limited Slipper at Matamata in New Zealand on Saturday with Heroic Valour (2c Fastnet Rock x Myrrh, by Nassipour) scoring from Mongolian Falcon (2c Fastnet Rock x Amazing Beauty, by Galileo).
Winning rider Matt Cameron had a thousand reasons to be beaming after the exciting Heroic Valour prevailed on his home track to land his first Black Type victory and give the 29-year-old his 1000th New Zealand winner.
“To do it while I’m still in my twenties is awesome, not too many have,” Cameron said.
Adding to Cameron’s satisfaction was the milestone being achieved in the tangerine colours of Te Akau, for whom he is the retained rider.
“They’ve been massive supporters of mine, it’s a really big thrill,” he said.
Trained by Stephen Autridge and Jamie Richards, Heroic Valour stalked the leader Nova Swiss to the turn before he took control into the straight and despite racing greenly, he had enough in reserve to hold out the late challenge of Mongolian Falcon to win by a head.
“He’s a big baby and he’s doing it on class,” Cameron said. “There’s plenty more to come from him – I knew he would kick, he needs another horse to go with him and then he’ll be even better.”
A winner last month on debut at Wellington, Heroic Valour is now two for two and will make his next appearance in the Group I Sistema Diamond Stakes at Ellerslie on March 12.
“We think he’s a Group One horse and he’s going the right way,” Autridge said.
“He came back from Trentham really well and he’s a young horse with tons of ability. He’s still doing things wrong, but he is learning.”
Mongolian Falcon was unable to match the early speed in the race and lengthened stride well in the straight to take second money.
“We’ve got a high opinion of him,” co-trainer Chris Gibbs said. ”He’s got gears and he’s going to make a lovely three-year-old.”
A $400,000 NZB Premier purchase from the draft of Curraghmore Stud for Te Akau Racing, Heroic Valour was foaled and raised at Coolmore in Australia and is a three-quarter brother to Group I winner Triple Honour.
The runner-up Mongolian Falcon was also foaled and raised at Coolmore and fetched $150,000 when bought by the Inner Mongolian Rider Horse Industry at Inglis Easter last year.
Heroic Valour is the 90th stakes-winner for champion sire Fastnet Rock and his full brother was sold for $510,000 at the NZB Premier Yearling Sale this year to Te Akau principal David Ellis.
Fastnet Rock later made it a trans-Tasman stakes double when Bewhatyouwannabe (6g Fastnet Rock x Bella Corona, by Beautiful Crown) took out the Listed Tattersalls Members Cup over 1600 metres at Doomben.
It was the second Black Type win for the Robert Heathcote trained Bewhatyouwannabe, who has the overall record of seven wins from 39 starts with prizemoney topping $300,000.