Yarradale Stud has sent hundreds of future winners down the Darling Scarp to Ascot’s racing precinct but none quite like Saturday’s G2 Lee-Steere Stakes (1400m) hero Valour Road.
The veteran chestnut is trained by Simon Miller at Ascot and was in his element once again dispatching a quality field in the time-honoured weight-for-age sprint. Taking advantage of an on-pace bias, he sat on the speed set by Marocchino and then defied the closers to the delight of his connections.
Valour Road is a son of former Yarradale shuttler Frost Giant (Giant’s Causeway) and sold for $60,000 at the 2017 Perth Magic Millions. He’s paid that back many times over with earnings of $1.73 million for a large Des Carvell-managed syndicate that includes Yarradale owner Lyn Sayers.
“I was pretty happy with the way he jumped and I knew he was going to land outside the leader,” winning jockey Chris Parnham told The West Australian. “Marocchino likes to march them along but I think that suits my bloke as well. He’s pretty tough and his longevity is quite remarkable.”
Valour Road has won at black-type level in every season he’s raced starting with the 2018 Magic Millions 2YO Classic at Pinjarra and G2 Karrakatta Plate at Ascot.
He crossed the Nullabor as a 3yo to win the G2 Euclase Stakes at Morphettville and returned as a 4yo to claim the LR Miss Andretti Stakes at Ascot. He then doubled up at Group 3 level as a 5yo winning the Prince Of Wales at Ascot and Hyperion Stakes at Belmont.
Back in harness as a 6yo at Ascot, he was a popular winner of LR Scahill Stakes (1400m) before missing his entire 7yo season with niggling injuries. Retirement was a real possibility but he’s resurrected a remarkable career with comeback victories in the LR Idyllic Prince Stakes (1300m) and Saturday’s G2 Lee-Steere Stakes.
Far from resting on his laurels, the inimitable 8yo is being set for the $1.5 million Damien Oliver Gold Rush (1400m) on December 16. His dam Melba Avenue (Street Sense) is also going strong with a valuable yearling colt by I Am Invincible and a filly foaled last month by Pinatubo (Ire).