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Guineas Hope To Head South Early
Ashburton is the likely venue for Heroic Valour's (Fastnet Rock-Myrrh, by Nassipour) final lead-in to his Group One classic goal, reports NZ Racing Desk. Trainers Stephen Autridge and Jamie Richards have the Listed Barneswood Farm Stakes on Saturday week in mind to complete the Fastnet Rock colt's preparation for the Gr1 New Zealand 2000 Guineas (1600m) at Riccarton on 5 November. Heroic Valour - a winner of the Gr1 Diamond Stakes at Ellerslie in March - surrendered his unbeaten record last weekend when third in the Gr2 Hawke's Bay Guineas at Hastings when unsuited by the Slow 8 track. Regular rider Matt Cameron was of the opinion that the horse may have been pinching himself, but Autridge felt the rain-affected was the most likely contributing factor in his downfall. "We weren't keen to run him, but if he missed the race his Two Thousand Guineas preparation would be at risk if anything else went wrong," Autridge said. "He has come through the race well and we are not that worried." A half-brother to the Gr1 Doncaster Handicap winner Triple Honour, Heroic Valour was a NZ$400,000 Karaka yearling for Te Akau principal David Ellis, who also purchased the full-brother for NZ$510,000 earlier this year.