Valloria romps home in Hambletonian


At some stage in the coming weeks, Ashburton brothers Alan and Ian Neumann will write a cheque to the Ashburton Trotting Club and then pretty quickly after that the Ashburton Trotting Club will turn around and send the money back, with interest.

In a fitting result, the popular ownership combination and longtime harness racing supporters claimed victory in their own race - the Neumann Tyres Bandag Hambletonian Classic at Ashburton on Sunday when Valloria continued the impressive start to his career by winning the Group Three feature.

Among the many plaudits being heaped toward the Neumann family following the impressive victory, there were none more vocal than John Dunn, the man who had the pleasure of sitting behind the three-year-old as he trotted to victory.

“This is just the perfect result for us - we are absolutely over the moon,” Dunn said.

“To win a race that the Neumanns have been sponsoring for so long with their first ever starter in the race is special and a real fitting way for us to be able to thank two of our biggest supporters.”

Purchased for $32,500 as a yearling in the final offering of the breed of the late Carl Middleton, Valloria has always been held in high regard and the plan when he came up so well earlier this season was to target the Ashburton feature with him.

“When he started working up nice I said to Johnny that we needed to aim him for the Hambletonian for Alan and Ian and it’s nice to have pulled it off,” trainer Robert Dunn said.

“They are honestly two of the best owners you would ever find and two of the best we could ever ask for.”

Forced to do work, Valloria swept by the talented Renezmae on the home bend and went for home.

After racing into a strong head wind for the entire back straight, John Dunn had fears they would come at him late, but he coasted to victory - winning impressively.

“He actually did it quite well in the end and he had a wee bit more in store I think.

“He’s still learning too, that’s the incredible thing because in theory, he should only get better.”

Valloria is the second foal of the former smart mare, Savona who did a good job for Middleton both here and in Australia before she returned home for stud duties.

The mare was sold at the Milburn Farm Dispersal Sale back in 2015.

The race proved to be a perfect taste test for what lies ahead for the three-year-old trotters with some outstanding runs in behind the winner.

Runner-up Stress Factor and the third placed Show Gait were both huge, while plenty with keen eyes will have noted the dour performance of Renezmae from the outside of the front line and also the effort of Sundees Son, who romped home from last on the turn to finish fifth.

  • NZ Harness News