Thursday 16 February 2012

First Foals For Vale Of York

Vale Of York didn’t hang about when it came to proving himself to be a high-class juvenile and his first foals aren’t wasting any time either with five already on the ground.

First to arrive was a filly for the Listed Ascot winner Alha Wasahl, who was herself a very smart two-year-old, having finished third in the G2 Cherry Hinton Stakes at Newmarket. This was the first foal for the daughter of Dubai Destination, who is booked to visit New Approach this season.

The first colt to be born was out of Ciara Doyle’s Xaar mare Queen Of Fools, the dam of last season’s four-time juvenile winner Powerful Wind and a half-sister to Hunan, who won the G3 Prix de Cabourg for Aidan O’Brien.

Peter and Jackie Grimes own the smartly-bred Paris Glory, a half-sister to Elusive Quality’s G1-winning two-year-old Elusive City, who produced a filly by Vale Of York on January 29.

Sans Reserve, already a black-type producer for Helen Smith, is another with a foal at foot by the young stallion, having foaled a filly on January 24.

Distorted Humor’s young mare Jumeirah Palm, a close relation to last seasons Racing Post Trophy runner-up Zip Top, has the most recent foal, a colt born on February 8.

It’s no surprise that Vale Of York was well supported during his first season at stud: as a crack two-year-old from a sireline with a brilliant track record in the first-season sires’ title, he offered breeders an excellent chance, both in the sales ring and on the racecourse, and for a very reasonable stud fee.

Successful on his debut in a seven-furlong York maiden, the son of Invincible Spirit became a Listed winner on only his third start before finishing placed in both the G2 Royal Lodge Stakes and the G1 Gran Criterium. But of course his best performance came with the Californian sunshine on his back when defeating no fewer than five G1 winners including the subsequent Preakness Stakes and Haskell Invitational winner Lookin At Lucky in the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile. You can click here to be reminded of Vale Of York's finishing speed and exceptional determination when winning the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile.

Now about to embark on his second season at Kildangan Stud, Vale Of York has been given every chance to shine in his stallion career too. Come the foal sales, pinhookers will doubtless be scrutinising his progeny, and with 114 mares in his first book, he has an excellent chance of making his mark when his first runners reach the track in 2014.