Valbuena Still on Target for Singapore Gold Cup

The Singapore Gold Cup is once again on the agenda for Pencarrow Racing’s Valbuena (Darci Brahma x Vega Sicilia) after another victory last night in the S$125,000 Singapore TC Open Handicap (1600m).

Winning three of his last four starts for trainer Laurie Laxon, Valbuena first raced in New Zealand with trainer Bruce Wallace, winning the Group 2 Avondale Guineas as a three-year-old before relocating to Singapore. A winner of five races from 21 starts, he has been a contender in a handful of black-type features, including finishing mid-field in the Sgp-1 Singapore Gold Cup last year.

“He won very well,” commented Laxon. “He’s just taken a little while to adjust to this way of going. When he first came here he couldn’t handle the left-hand way but he seems to have got a hold of it now and is going good.

“For the long-run, he will be aimed at the Singapore Gold Cup held in November.”

Ridden by Manoel Nunes, Valbuena began the race from barrier 8, settling towards the rear of the field. Valbuena travelled at a steady tempo one off the rail before pushing out deep to be the widest runner on the turn for home.

Making a bid for the front-runner, Valbuena charged down the home straight, overtaking A La Victory (NZ) (Alamosa) in the final strides for a narrow victory by a neck with Tropaios (Excellent Art) finishing in third place.

Owned by Sir Peter Vela, who bred the six-year-old gelding with Philip Vela, and the Silver Fern Stable, 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 Moritz Eclipse (NZ) (Darci Brahma) breaking his maiden status in the S$75,000 Restricted Maiden Stakes, his first race-day appearance.