Valbuena’s Valiant Victory

Pencarrow Racing’s Singapore galloper Valbuena (Darci Brahma x Bega Sicilia) was a valiant victor in the S$125,000 Open Stakes (2000m) in Singapore last night.

Winner of four races, Valbuena won his last start, the Gingerbread Man Stakes, in Singapore two weeks ago over 2000m. The five-year-old gelding saw out his first racing campaign in New Zealand with trainer Bruce Wallace where he won the Group 2 Avondale Guineas before he was relocated to Laurie Laxon’s Singapore stable.

“He ran well,” commented Laxon. “It was his first start with blinkers on which picked him up a bit. He has won his last two now – I expected him to run as strongly as he did.

“He will head towards the Singapore Gold Cup in November over 2200m so I will just keep him rolling along until then.”

Commencing the race from barrier 2, Michael Rodd rode Valbuena at a steady tempo on the rail tracking Musketeer (Kurofune), who went to the lead early on. Travelling strongly in third position, Valbuena tracked the leader into the home straight.

Valbuena entered the straight behind pacemakers Musketeer and Fujin Bright (Tanino Gimlet) but shortly darted between them, dashing ahead for victory by half-a-length over stablemate Martin (NZ) (Colombia), who finished in second place, with Cheetah on Fire (NZ) (One Cool Cat) in third.

Owned by Sir Peter Vela and the Silver Fern Stable, Valbuena has earned NZ$195,340 in prizemoney to date.

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.

Valbuena was the second Pencarrow Stud-bred horse to win last night with Dylan (Darci Brahma x Battocchi) winning an earlier race, the Kranji D Stakes, by three-quarters-of-a-length also trained by Laxon.