Singapore Success for Valbuena

Returning to the winner’s circle was Pencarrow Racing’s Valbuena (Darci Brahma x Vega Sicilia) with his first Singapore victory in the S$80,000 Gingerbread Man Stakes (2000m) on Sunday.

Valbuena has won three races from his 18 starts, with his first two having come in his debut campaign when he was under New Zealand trainer Bruce Wallace. Winning as a three-year-old, his second win came in the form of the Group 2 race Avondale Guineas, run over 2100m. After six raceday appearances he was relocated to Singapore where is currently trained by Laurie Laxon.

“It was a very good win,” commented Laxon. “It was good to get a win for Sir Peter Vela. He has been working well but will go better once I put a set of blinkers on him and get him over a longer distance.

“He will head towards the Singapore Gold Cup over 2200m in November and will just keep him carrying on until then.”

Ridden by Michael Rodd, Valbuena started the race from barrier 6 and settled sixth in a leisurely run race. He tracked race-favourite Mighty Warrior (NZ) (Savabeel) and the pair would ultimately fight out the finish.

Making a move on the turn for home, Valbuena pulled out to race four-wide to challenge Mighty Warrior, who had hit the front. The pair fought hard to the line with Pencarrow’s blue and white silks getting the ascendency in the final stages to claim victory by a half-head over Mighty Warrior and Om (NZ) (Darci Brahma) who finished in third place.

A third win for the five-year-old gelding has increased his earnings to NZ$124,059 for his owners Sir Peter Vela and the Silver Fern Stable.

Bred by Sir Peter Vela and Philip Vela, the son of Darci Brahma is out of stakes placegetter Vega Sicilia (Rodrigo de Triano), who was placed in the Group 1 International Stakes, and is a half-sister to stakes-winner Filante Etoile (Soviet Star), winner of the Listed Metropolitan Handicap and runner-up in the Group 1 New Zealand Oaks.