Heroic Valour’s performance at Ellerslie this weekend will determine the future direction of his three-year-old career.
The Group One-winning colt has improved with his first-up run and he
will strip a fitter horse for Sunday’s Listed NZB Insurance Karaka 3YO
“He worked extremely well this (Tuesday) morning and we’re pretty
confident he will run very well,” Te Akau principal David Ellis said.
“We’ll decide after Sunday whether he presses on to the Derby or if we keep him to the shorter races, possibly in Melbourne.”
The Stephen Autridge and Jamie Richards-trained Heroic Valour has
been nominated for the Gr. 1 Australian Guineas over a mile at
Flemington on March 4.
Runner-up when resuming under 60.5 kilograms earlier this month,
Heroic Valour won the Diamond Stakes last season and this term he added a
Group One placing to his record in the New Zealand 2000 Guineas.
His younger barn mate Melody Belle is also in fine order ahead of the
sternest test of her fledgling career in Sunday’s Karaka Million.
She was a debut winner at Ruakaka in the spring and was then put
aside after she finished third in the Gr. 2 Wakefield Challenge Stakes
behind the talented pair of Gift Of Power and Hasahalo.
On her return at Ellerslie this month, Melody Belle had little luck in the running after she began awkwardly.
“Michael McNab told me to just forget that run,” Ellis said. “She’s very well and it’s a wide open race.”