Smart galloper Valevole looks set for a good campaign following an impressive victory in the $75,000 Progress Stakes over 1200m on the Polytrack on Friday night.
Ridden by Barend Vorster, Valevole, $17, scored a widening four-and-three-quarter length victory over stablemate Hard Stuff (Greg Cheyne) with No Respite (John Powell) a neck away third.
The $8 favourite Masthead (Stephen Baster) was never a factor and finished in fourth position.
Valevole (Barend Vorster) puts a space on his rivals which includes favourite Masthead (Stephen
Baster, purple cap), Prime Mover (Oscar Chavez) on rails and Hard Stuff (Greg Cheyne).
Valevole jumped straight to the lead and was given an easy time in front by Vorster and only quickened up the straight in a commanding victory.
With trainer Patrick Shaw enjoying a holiday back in South Africa, his assistant Ricardo Le Grange said he expects a good campaign from the three-year-old.
“He’s come back from his break in really good form,” said Le Grange. “The winner had to break the course record to beat him last time and he’s carried his form on tonight.
“He looks like he’ll be in for a good campaign this time in.
“I’m sure he will continue to go from strength to strength. We don’t have any significant plans for him at this stage. We’ll just go through the grades with him.”
For Vorster it was his first success since guiding Ato to victory in the Group 1 KrisFlyer International Sprint on May 20.
Vorster said he was always confident of success after he found an easy lead on the gelding and was not tackled during the race.
“Once the other horse (Masthead) was out the back the race was all but over,” said Vorster.
“He just loves it when he can put his head on his chest and do things his own way.
“He wandered about up the straight a bit, but I just let him go as he was clear and was happy do what he wanted.
“Full marks must also go to Pat. He’s taken his time with this horse and didn’t want to go rushing him after his break.
“He’s developed into a really nice horse.”
A Brazilian bred three-year-old by Our Emblem from the Ghadeer mare Garland Queen, Valevole has now won four of his eight starts for owner Fred Crabbia and notched around $165,000 in prizemoney.