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Our Valdivia Leads Throughout

What great form Our Valdivia has been of late, the tough and talented gelding at Sandown on Wednesday leading throughout to record an especially gutsy victory.

A winner at Sale in late December and twice runner-up since then, the four-year-old son of Don Eduardo just doesn't know how to run a bad race and - as his rivals discovered on Wednesday - he is a very hard horse to get past!

Getting to lead from a wide gate, Our Valdivia settled beautifully for Patrick Maloney who was having his first ride on the bay.

Taken on by three others over the final stages, Our Valdivia looked beaten on several occasions but he just kept fighting - the win not unexpected but the style of it somewhat of a surprise with the plan to settled back a bit.

"I did plan to ride him quietly because he can overdo it," Maloney said, "but he just began that brilliantly. It would've been to his disadvantage to pull him back and strangle him so I just let him flow and he actually switched off well when he got to the front."

"And he gave a good kick down the hill which he sustained to the line."
Michael Moroney, who has described Our Valdivia as "a work in progress, " was happy to see the horse settle.

"He has been a difficult horse to get a guide on," he said.

"We were getting him read for the New Zealand Derby last year and thought he looked like a nice stayer but he just wouldn't relax in his races."

A bit of gear tinkering and some time to mature and Our Valdivia is now learning what it is all about.

"I was worried when he led after all the work we'd one to get him to settle but he relaxed well enough to still have a kick."

Describing Our Valdivia as a "lovely type of horse," Moroney is confident that there is more to come.

"Once he gets a bit stronger he will get a mile and a quarter," he said.

Congratulations to owner Lib Petagna, a lucky owner (he races the high class Lucia Valentina) whose first runner was Ballymore's Gr.1 NZ 2000 Guineas winner Clean Sweep.

The stable has been in great form of late and we are confident that we will continue on our winning way at Moonee Valley on Friday night with the talented Jackpot due to make his Australian debut.

Impressive winning his maiden by 4 1/2 lengths at Matamata in mid-January, the son of Volksraad ran "exceptional time" and has been settling in well at the Flemington stables.

"He is a very exciting horse," Moroney enthused. "Our only concern is that it is his first Moonee Valley run but he is a very nice horse in the making/"

[27 Feb 15]

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