150-1 Ascot Winner Valiant Force Aims for Breeders’ Cup Glory
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150-1 Ascot Winner Valiant Force Aims for Breeders’ Cup Glory

Shock 150-1 Royal Ascot Winner Valiant Force Headed to Breeders’ Cup

Westmeath trainer Adrian Murray is eyeing the Breeders’ Cup for his shock Norfolk Stakes winner Valiant Force, describing the 150-1 triumph as “like a dream.” The dairy farmer-turned-trainer enjoyed a memorable Royal Ascot, with Valiant Force’s sensational victory complemented by a promising third-place finish for Bucanero Fuerte in the Coventry Stakes.

Murray was understandably delighted with Valiant Force’s performance, stating, “It was unbelievable. It was just breathtaking. He’s a fair horse. I was hoping beforehand that we would be in the first four.” The son of Malibu Moon had finished fifth in the Marble Hill Stakes at the Curragh, but Murray believed he had a chance to reverse that form at the royal meeting. “His form was very good except for his run at the Curragh where he just came up on the wrong side of the track, which we drew a line through after,” the trainer explained.

It’s like a dream! To be able to train Kia’s first Royal Ascot winner is just incredible,” said Murray.

Valiant Force’s triumph was a landmark success for both trainer and owner Kia Joorabchian’s Amo Racing operation. The long-term plan is to target the Grade 1 Juvenile Turf Sprint at the Breeders’ Cup in November, where Valiant Force will automatically qualify following his Norfolk Stakes triumph.

Bucanero Fuerte Impresses at Royal Ascot

Bucanero Fuerte, a Curragh maiden winner, also impressed at Royal Ascot, finishing just a length behind the winner River Tiber in the Coventry Stakes. “When Bucanero Fuerte finished third for us on the first day, that was magic for us, it was almost like having a winner,” Murray commented. “He ran a fantastic race and is a very good horse.

With the Breeders’ Cup now on the horizon for Valiant Force and more big days ahead for both his star performers, Murray’s Ascot Racecourse success has proven to be just the beginning of an exciting journey for the up-and-coming trainer.

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