Veale Stakes His Claim

Happy Valentine wins Gr1 R600 000 Gr1 Allan Robertson Championship

All Heart! Sean Veale takes a bow as Happy Valentine overpowers her oponents to win the Allan Robertson

All Heart! Sean Veale takes a bow as Happy Valentine overpowers her oponents to win the Allan Robertson

Jockey Sean Veale marked an auspicious day in his career with his first ever Gr1 win in Saturday’s Sprint Festival at Scottsville. His ride on Happy Valentine  to win the R600 000 Gr1 Allan Robertson Championship for Vaughan Marshall was of the armchair variety.

Maine Chance stallion Silvano is one of the most versatile and consistent Group producers in the country and he showed again that he gets them to fly and to stay.  His daughter Happy Valentine is a bundle of energy and she was never under any form of pressure in this quality race.

Always in the firing line, Happy Valentine  showed superb pace and led all the way after Garibondy and Along Came Polly had challenged briefly at around the 300m.

But it was no race as she maintained her perfect record to win readily.

Her equally energetic rider Sean Veale saluted as he passed the post with plenty in hand.

Happy Valentine won at 22 to 10 by 3,25 lengths in a time of 68,51 secs

Gavin Van Zyl’s maiden Along Came Polly ran on well for second, ahead of the Glen Kotzen trained Masked Lady, who ran a cracker in third.

Cape based Paul Reeves would have been pleased with the effort of Sea Cat who showed up late before running a nice fourth.

Duncan Howells’s My Sanctuary let her behaviour get the better of her this time. She jumped slowly and ruined her chances at the start, before encountering traffic problems late in the race. This run can best be ignored. But she will have to start calming down otherwise her ability will be wasted.

Royalsecuritybaby was another who was slow out, and failed to frank the form of her debut win in the Strelitzia Stakes.

A rather emotional winning rider Sean Veale said he was confident of winning the race after he had worked Happy Valentine on Thursday.”She put up excellent work. Mr Marshall reminded me in the parade ring about what I had said. But I was always confident, “ he said.

Trainer Vaughan Marshall, who also sent out last year’s winner of this race, said that Happy Valentine was not the biggest girl in town but that her heart was in the right and that she had plenty of ability. He thanked his owners, saying it was nice to see ‘the old guys back.’

Happy Valentine is owned by two well known characters in George O’Brien and Tony Chemaly.

“Tony introduced me to this game when I was 17 years old and the bug bit. I am actually quite speechless,” said O’Brien.

Happy Valentine is undefeated in two starts and looks a quality sort in the making.

She was bred by Maine Chance farms by the outstanding Silvano and is out of the unraced National Assembly mare, Happy Ever After.

She changed hands at R240 000 on the National Two Year Old Sale.

Happy Valentine took her stake earnings to R420 000.

Allan Robertson Fillies Ch’ship (SAf-G1) (5/25)

Scottsville, South Africa, May 25, R600.000, 1200m, turf, 1.08.51

 HAPPY VALENTINE (SAF), 58.0, ch f 2, Silvano (GER) – Happy Ever After (SAF) by National Assembly (CAN). Owner A Chemaly & GL O’Brien; breeder Maine Chance; trainer VH Marshall; jockey S Veale (R375.000)

Along Came Polly (SAF), 58.0, b f 2, Judpot (USA) – Perfect Polly (SAF) by Model Man (SAF)

Masked Lady (SAF), 58.0, b f 2, Casey Tibbs (IRE) – Kamille (SAF) by Goldmark (SAF)

Margins: 3¼, 2¾, 1¼

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