Mustang Valley on Oaks path


After making her presence felt in almost every 3YO fillies’ feature so far this season, Mustang Valley (Vanbrugh) now has next month’s Gr. 1 New Zealand Oaks looming large on her horizon.

The daughter of Vanbrugh (Encosta De Lago) will return from a brief freshen-up for Saturday’s Listed Oaks Prelude at New Plymouth Raceway which is set to be her sixth black type assignment of the season.

An impressive winner at Te Rapa as a late 2YO, Mustang Valley kicked off her 3YO campaign with a flying finish into second in the Gr.3 Gold Trail Stakes. Since then, she has finished fifth in the Gr. 3 Solliloquy Stakes, fifth in the Gr.1 1000 Guineas, sixth in the Group 2 Eight Carat Classic and a last start fifth in the Gr.2 Royal Stakes. Through all of those races, she has finished an average margin of only three lengths from the winner.

“She’s such a genuine filly, and she’s been racing in top fillies’ company all season and performing very well in all of those races,” co trainer Andrew Forsman said. “She’s always shown really good ability”.

“The way she found the line over 2000 meters in the Royal Stakes last start gave us a bit of encouragement that she might stretch out to an Oaks trip later in the season.

“We freshened her up after that race and she’s building nicely again now. Running over 1800 meters on Saturday should suit her nicely.

“She’s nominated for both the Oaks and the Levin Classic, but the Oaks is probably the way we’re leaning.

“The feedback from Lisa (Allpress, jockey) after the Royal Stakes was that she was hitting the line well enough to try those longer distances”.

Windsor Park Stud’s young stallion Vanbrugh, whose eldest crop are just 3YO’s, is also the sire of another Oaks Prelude contender in Gingerbread, an impressive maiden winner at Rotorua two starts back.

The Vicki Prendergast- trained filly then lined up in the Rating 65 grade at Tauranga on January 14, where she veered out in the straight and may have cost herself victory, eventually finishing 4th.

Vanbrugh has three yearlings catalogued for sale at the Karaka yearling sales next month commencing March 7th, Lots 790,1005 and 1108.