LADY Val (AUS), had to grind down hard to win her second race over 1700m at the Vaal on Thursday, but Mike de Kock believes there is more to come from her.
He said on Thursday night: “She’s a beautifully bred daughter of High Chaparral and I think once she goes over 2000m and further she’ll come into her own. She could be stakes material.”
Three-year-old Lady Val was well-placed by apprentice Mphume Mjoka, but when she came off the bit at the 400m-mark it appeared as if she’ll battle to find extra. But Mjoka switched her out, kept riding hard and she responded well, running on strongly to win by a quarter-length.
Lady Val is owned by Mike and Joke Ridley and James Goodman’s partner, Sandra D’Oliveira and Goodman told: “Lady Val was bought at a weanling sale in Australia but my client didn’t pay so we were stuck with her. I’ve always believed she’s smart, however, and we bought her back at the Kilimanjaro dispersal last December and sent her to Mike, hoping to recover some losses.
“Lady Val has a pedigree as good as any. She’s from a half-sister to Aidan O’Brien’s former high-class stakes performer Intelligence Cross. I agree, on the way she won yesterday she’ll easily see out 2400m and up and we look forward to her career.”
Mathew de Kock was teasing this week that Lady Val would be Mjoka’s last chance for the yard, but in truth it was his first real chance and Mike commented: “The lad has been riding plenty of work for us and he hasn’t had a good ride until this one. I’m impressed, he grabbed it with both hands.”
Mjoka joked: “I think I rode Lady Val as if it was my last chance indeed!”