Heroic Valour has taken up as a 3-year-old where he left off last season following a tenacious performance to triumph on his Ruakaka return.

The Stephen Autridge and Jamie Richards-trained son of Fastnet Rock showed admirable fighting qualities to maintain his unbeaten record with his defeat of a competitive line-up in yesterday's Listed Tavistock Northland Breeders' Plate.

"He got a bit of a squeeze up on the point of the corner and he's not the sort of colt who is ever going to win by much, but he gives it his all and he's pretty good," Richards said.

"He'll go to the Hawke's Bay Guineas next and then we'll make a plan about how we get to Christchurch."


Last season's group one Diamond Stakes winner is now the $5 favourite for group one Sothys New Zealand 2000 Guineas at Riccarton after his resuming run at Ruakaka where he got into a good early spot before runners circled him out wide.

Cameron got busy on the favourite once into the clear and Heroic Valour finished determinedly to score by a head for the fourth consecutive win of his career.

"He did it the hard way and had to pick a path between them," he said. "Once I got stuck into him he hit the line well and got the job done nicely."

The stablemates The Soultaker and Wyndspelle settled off the early pace and they both wound up impressively in the straight to finish second and third respectively.

"Really happy with them and as far as the Hawke's Bay Guineas and the 2000 Guineas are concerned the farther the better for them," said Chris Gibbs, who prepares the pair with Donna Logan.

- NZ Racing Desk.