War Front’s Spirit of Valor Takes the Minstrel

4th at CGH, Gr. Stk, 120000G2 Qatar Airways Minstrel S. (7f)Winner: Spirit of Valor, c, 3 by War Front

Spirit Of Valor and his happy connections | Racing Post

By Tom Frary

Spirit of Valor was purchased on behalf of Stonestreet Stables and Coolmore by Brian Graves of Gainesway Farm, who at the time revealed that he had bid for a partnership named Clear Ridge Stables. There were early indications that the sum was well spent as the striking bay finished runner-up in Leopardstown’s G3 Killavullan S. over this trip in October and he remained an unknown quantity even after his return eighth in the GII UAE Derby tackling 9 1/2 furlongs on a muddy dirt track at Meydan Mar. 25. One of two bodyguards alongside Lancaster Bomber (War Front) assigned to aid Churchill (Ire) (Galileo {Ire}) in Newmarket’s G1 2000 Guineas May 6, he was only beaten just over five lengths in eighth there but the yielding surface undid him in the Irish equivalent here three weeks later and he trailed in last of six. Taken to Royal Ascot and sent off 66-1 for the seven-furlong G3 Jersey S. June 21, he pushed the G1 Poule d’Essai des Poulains runner-up Le Brivido (Fr) (Siyouni {Fr}) all the way before coming off second best by a neck and showed he is moving forward by making all taking on his elders in this prize.

Always happy at the head of affairs, the blinkered bay strode away from initial challenges in the straight and hit the line strong. “We weren’t sure he was getting a mile earlier in the season and six or seven furlongs on nice ground is ideal,” trainer Aidan O’Brien said. “Ryan said he is a very nice horse and he relaxed lovely and quickened very well. He’s a horse to look forward to and the [G2] Lennox S. [at Goodwood Aug. 1] might suit him well.”

Spirit of Valor is a half-brother to the dual stakes winner and GII Peter Pan S. third Street Life, who was also fourth behind Union Rags (Dixie Union) in the 2012 GI Belmont S. The dam Stone Hope is a half-sister to the GII Jefferson Cup S. and GIII Kent Breeders Cup S.-winning sire Brilliant who was also runner-up in the GI Turf Classic. Her family features the GI Jerome H. hero Furiously to a mating with War Front’s sire Danzig and the GII Santa Monica S. scorer and GI Humana Distaff S. and GI Vanity S.-placed Scherzinger (Tiz Wonderful). The fourth dam is the GI Selima S. heroine Dancealot (Round Table), whose progeny includes the GII Silver Screen H. winner Tights (Nijinsky II) and who is the second dam of the GI Gazelle H. and GI Hollywood Oaks runner-up Grand Girlfriend (Private Account). Stone Hope also has an as-yet unraced 2-year-old colt by Orb named Strike Rate, a yearling colt by Giant’s Causeway and a colt foal by Kitten’s Joy.

Sunday, The Curragh, Ireland
QATAR AIRWAYS MINSTREL S.-G2, €120,000, CUR, 7-16, 3yo/up, 7fT, 1:24.56, g/f.
1–#@SPIRIT OF VALOR, 127, c, 3, by War Front
1st Dam: Stone Hope, by Grindstone
2nd Dam: Fairest, by Known Fact
3rd Dam: Whirl Series, by Roberto
($850,000 Wlg ’14 KEENOV). O-Derrick Smith & Mrs John Magnier & Michael Tabor & Stonestreet Stables, LLC; B-Nursery Place (KY); T-Aidan O’Brien; J-Ryan Moore. €70,800. Lifetime Record: GSP-Eng, 8-2-2-1, $133,532. *1/2 to Street Life (Street Sense), MSW & GSP-US, $237,735. Werk Nick Rating: A+. Click for the eNicks report & 5-cross pedigree.
2–So Beloved (GB), 134, g, 7, Dansili (GB)–Valencia (GB), by Kenmare (Fr). (35,000gns HRA ’14 TAJUL). O-Thoroughbred British Racing; B-Juddmonte Farms Ltd (GB); T-David O’Meara. €22,800.
3–Stormy Antarctic (GB), 134, c, 4, Stormy Atlantic–Bea Remembered (GB), by Doyen (Ire). (68,000gns Wlg ’13 TATFOA; 200,000gns 2yo ’15 TATBRE). O-P K Siu; B-East Bloodstock Ltd (GB); T-Ed Walker. €10,800.
Margins: 1 3/4, NO, 1HF. Odds: 2.50, 20.00, 7.00.
Also Ran: Gordon Lord Byron (Ire), Cougar Mountain (Ire), Dutch Connection (GB), Mubtasim (Ire), Flight Risk (Ire), Peace Envoy (Fr). Click for the Racing Post result or the free Equineline.com catalogue-style pedigree. Video, sponsored by Fasig-Tipton.

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