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Valorous wins with a vengeance
The Glenn Mendez trained Valorous who was winless in five starts this season, got it right yesterday when he galloped home a resounding 5 1/4 lengths victory in the featured Modified Benchmark Handicap for Three-Year-Old and Over horses over Rated 80-60 over 1,200 metres at Santa Rosa Park Arima.
The Merlin Samlalsingh owned Valorous was sent off as the 2-1 favourite behind stablemate Golden Choice which was sent off by punters as the even-money favourite.
When the starter sent the field on its way Skylar was the first to show from Valorous with Desert Dancer, and Risk To Riches close up. These were followed by Galaxy, and Blue Oracle with Golden Choice the early back-marker after missing the break.
Going to the far turn, Skylar still held sway and was travelling powerfully but Valorous was going just as well under Kerron Khelawan in second with Golden Choice which made up tremendous ground moving into a joint third with Desert Dancer and Risk To Riches. At the corner Skyllar still led but only on sufferance as Khelawan pulled Valorous out to deliver his challenge and the son of Silent Valor did not disappoint, sprinting clear of his rivals.
Inside the final 200 metres, it was one-way traffic as Valorous extended his lead to win while easing down at the line from Skylar which held on for the second place to give Mendez a one-two. The fast-finishing Risk To Riches was third with Golden Choice fading into fourth. The winner recorded the time of 1:12.01 for the trip.
The day leading trainer was Shaffique Khan who saddled two winners. Riding honours for the day went to apprentice Andrew Poon who rode two winners in Precise Moment and Rhea's Toy Soldier.
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