Racing: Classy VRC Derby hopeful delivers

Mongolian Falcon returns to scale yesterday. Photo / Trish Dunell
Mongolian Falcon returns to scale yesterday. Photo / Trish Dunell

Expectations around Mongolian Falcon were sky high at Ruakaka and the classy colt didn't let anybody down.

He made his three-year-old debut in yesterday's Harcourts Just Rentals and victory was delivered in the style his trainers Donna Logan and Chris Gibbs craved with ambitious spring plans in place.

"We've got a huge opinion of him," co-trainer Chris Gibbs said. "He'll definitely be nominated for the VRC Derby and if we take that path then he won't be hanging around in New Zealand for too long."

A $450,000 Karaka yearling purchase for the Inner Mongolia Horse Rider Industry, Mongolian Falcon was a trial winner before he finished third on debut last season and second-up he beat the subsequent group two Matamata Breeders' Stakes winner Gold Rush.

The son of Fastnet Rock and the group performed Galileo mare Amazing Beauty then ran a close second in the Listed Reid & Harrison Slipper before he was put aside after he suffered an interrupted run when unplaced in the group one Diamond Stakes.

"He spelled well and he's in beautiful order," Gibbs said. "He's still learning, but he did everything right today."

Mongolian Falcon bounced out well from the gates under rider Leith Innes to race on the speed and he asserted his superiority in the closing 100 metres to comfortably account for the pacemaker Matuzalem.

"We put the blinkers on for the first time because it was only 1000 metres," Gibbs said. "He's a pretty smart colt."

Meanwhile the Logan-Gibbs stable's Valley Girl opened her four-year-old campaign in grand style with a comfortable victory ahead of a game Biggin Hill and Hasselhoof.

"She was a touch more forward than Hasselhoof and she will still take heaps of improvement out of that," said Gibbs.

"That was just outstanding and she's come back bigger and stronger. We'll go to the Makfi [at Hastings on Ausgust 27] now and we could well be off to Australia after that."

Valley Girl was able to sit near the pace yesterday and she finished off strongly under Danielle Johnson in the run home.

"That was a super effort and with the ability she's got she was able to sprint well fresh," she said.

Gibbs was also more than satisfied with the performance of Hasselhoof, even though he was beaten for the first time in seven New Zealand appearances.

"It was a hack canter early and they sprinted off the top so to finish as close as he did was a good effort. I'm very happy with the way he's coming up," rider Matt Cameron said.

It was a great day for the Ruakaka stable, who won five of the eight races at the local track. Zafrenzy, Rocknrolla and Cambridge were the stable's other winners.

- NZ Racing Desk

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