Unbeaten colt Heroic Valour (3c Fastnet Rock x Myrrh, by Nassipour) has taken up as a three-year-old where he left off last season following a tenacious performance to triumph on his Ruakaka return.
The Stephen Autridge and Jamie Richards-trained son of Fastnet Rock showed admirable fighting qualities to maintain his unbeaten record with his defeat of a competitive line-up in Saturday’s Listed Tavistock Northland Breeders’ Plate over 1200 metres.
“He got a bit of a squeeze up on the point of the corner and he’s not the sort of colt who is ever going to win by much, but he gives it his all and he’s pretty good,” Richards said.
“He’ll go to the Hawke’s Bay Guineas next and then we’ll make a plan about how we get to Christchurch.”
Last season’s Group I Diamond Stakes winner is now the $5 favourite for Group I Sothys New Zealand 2000 Guineas at Riccarton after his successful return where he got into a good early spot before runners circled him out wide.
Cameron got busy on the favourite once into the clear and Heroic Valour finished determinedly to score by a head for the fourth consecutive win of his career.
“He did it the hard way and had to pick a path between them,” he said. “Once I got stuck into him he hit the line well and got the job done nicely.”
A three-quarter brother to the Group I ATC Doncaster Handicap winner and $2.2 million earner Triple Honour, Heroic Valour was a $400,000 Karaka yearling purchase from the Curraghmore Stud draft for Te Akau principal David Ellis, who also purchased the full-brother for $510,000 earlier this year.
Bred in Australia and foaled and raised at Coolmore, Heroic Valour is one of eight winners from the good producing Nassipour (USA) mare Myrrh.