Valzacella (NZ) Victorious at Cambridge

A slick turn of foot in the straight carried Pencarrow mare Valzacella (NZ) (Rip Van Winkle) to a first career victory in Thursday’s $12,000 Marsh Racing New Stables 1550 at Cambridge.

After finishing second, third or fourth in all of her last four appearances, Valzacella was among the leading contenders for Thursday’s maiden race for fillies and mares, and she delivered in style.

Having initially settled towards the back of the field, Valzacella and rider Danielle Johnson steadily improved their position coming down the side of the track. Rounding the home turn, they moved up to join a tightly packed group of half a dozen horses all vying for the lead. But then Valzacella changed gears in the straight and burst clear, kicking away to score by a length and a half.

Valzacella is trained by Steven Ramsay and Julia Ritchie, who also share in the ownership alongside Sir Peter Vela and Dianne McDonald. The four-year-old mare has now had seven starts for a win, two placings and $10,120 in stakes.

Bred by Pencarrow in partnership with Mapperley Stud, Valzacella is by the highly accomplished former shuttle stallion Rip Van Winkle out of the twice-winning Pencarrow mare Navy Beach (NZ) (Darci Brahma).

A half-sister to the stakes winners Te Akau Coup (NZ) (Thorn Park) and Don Garcia (NZ) (Danehill), Navy Beach is now the dam of two winners from three foals to race.

Outside of Valzacella, both of Navy Beach’s other runners have been black-type performers. Naval Fleet (NZ) (Declaration of War) finished third in the Listed NZB Insurance Stakes (1400m) in 2019, while Wolfgang (NZ) (Puccini) was a placegetter in the Group Three Woburn Farm 2YO Classic (1200m) earlier this year.

Navy Beach subsequently returned to Puccini (NZ) again, producing a filly foal in the spring of 2020.