Among the very
good investments at 2005 Australian yearlings sales could be the offspring in
the first crop of Val Royal, a galloper who laid claim to being the best miler
in the world in 2001 although he ran only three times that year.
Two of those
outings, however, were powerhouse wins on turf in America in the space of three
weeks in two of their biggest races at a mile including the event considered as
being the world’s top race each year at this distance, the Breeders’ Cup Mile.
In his tilt at
this million dollar event, one run on this occasion at New York’s Belmont
Park, Val Royal ran the fastest time in the history of the race, clocking 1:32.05
for the journey. The time was less than half a second outside the freakish track
and world record of 1:31.63 set by the Darley Stud, Hunter Valley visitor and
2004 champion American sire Elusive Quality in1998.
claimed that Val Royal, a son of an earlier Breeders’ Cup Mile winner, Royal
Academy, was only playing around at the finish. He had come from behind with an
explosive burst that saw him cover the final two furlongs (400 metres) in 0:22,
“extraordinary quick even given the firm turf.”
Val Royal had
shown up as bright prospect for the Breeders’ Cup Mile three weeks earlier when
he came back after a seven months spell owing to injuries sustained in finishing
second in a $400,000 Group 2 event at Santa Anita and took out $219,000 Group 2
Oak Tree Breeders’ Cup Stakes on the same course in the good time of 1:33.21.
five-year-old, he had probably been robbed of world champion miler glory by 19
months out of racing following some very good performances at three. Bred in
France where he started his career, he had won his first three outings, an event
at Longchamp at two, and then two classic prelims, before finding the English
Derby beyond his stamina.
He bounced back
from the Derby effort with a second in a Group 3 race and then two Group 2 wins,
appearances at Deauville and then in the Del Mar Derby in America.
impeded career, Val Royal ran 12 times for seven wins – six stakes, two stakes
seconds and about $1.5million Australian.
Now in use at
stud in Ireland and Australia, standing in the latter country at one of the most
progressive breeding establishments seen in Victoria, Lee Fleming’s Kerrie
district located Eliza Park, Val Royal has first crop yearlings booked into the
Gold Coast, Sydney, Melbourne and Adelaide sales. They are among over 50
potential runners in this crop, one which includes offspring out of six Danehill
mares and others from daughters of such fashionable sires as Zabeel, Bluebird,
Last Tycoon, Sir Tristram, Bletchingly, Hennessy, Marscay, Night Shift, Rory’s
Jester, Woodman, Marauding, Chief’s Crown, Thunder Gulch and Seattle Slew.
stands at Eliza Park with the crack Royal Academy Australian two-year-old and
sprinter Bel Esprit, a sire who had 122 mares in his first season, 2003. Both
are very much like their sire and also their grandsire
was one of Nijinsky’s most brilliant racing sons and has been a top sire in both
hemispheres. He has had over 100 stakes winners, at least a dozen of which have
won at Group1 level, and his progeny have won over 1500 races and US$61million.
The 16.2 hands
Val Royal is the result of the mating of Royal Academy with Vadlava, a stakes
placed daughter of French Horse of the Year Bikala and Vadsa, a mare by Sunday
Silence’s sire Halo.
© Bloodstock Media Service Published 21/12/04