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A Heroic victory


What a well deserved win it was for Viking Hero who came from last to take out Saturday’s Gr.3 Eclipse Stakes in impressive fashion.

Not really at his best on heavy going, the four-year-old had nevertheless run game placings on rain affected tracks at his two previous outings – convincing Moroney and connections to take a chance, although they did consider scratching him.

Those thoughts looked wise ones during the race as the handsome bay didn’t really look happy although jockey Mark Zahra reported post race that it was more a matter of the gelding over-reacting when racing close to other horses.

“He hates it when they come near him,” he said, “and he got his head up and on the side – he was going to run last at the turn!”

But when asked for an effort Viking Hero, a horse who has always shown a good deal of natural ability, really let down – “he got into the right zone!” Zahra said.

Michael Moroney, who had been especially keen to win a nice race with the son of Elvstroem since he lost a stakes race on protest last spring, was happy and relieved.

“He went around every single horse so it was a good, tough win,” he said.

“He has always shown us a lot of promise but he has taken a while to mature. He is getting to his right age now.”

Paul Moroney’s favourite colt at the 2008 Easter sale, Viking Hero was a $160,000 purchase for Rupert & Cheryl Legh Racing, Lorne Bloodstock, Noel & Judith Griffin, Wayne Mitchell, Harold Hansen, Peter Barnett, the GG Ltd Syndicate (manager Gerard Peterson) and the Gurners Bloodstock Co.

A well related horse out of a Zabeel half sister to the AJC Derby winner Innocent King and the Sandown Cup winner Royal Snack, he is a half brother to the promising filly Manzanilla who won her maiden by 3½ lengths last week.

The stable has a lovely 2Y0 colt by the same sire as Viking Hero – the globe-trotting multiple Gr.1 winner Elvstroem – on offer at the moment, please check our ‘horses available’ page for details.

[19 Nov 10]

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