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Valiant, a sad end


It has been a roller-coaster week for owner-breeder-trainer, Brian Anderton, the principal of White Robe Lodge. His trainer nephew, Steve Anderton died in tragic circumstances last Tuesday. Brian was attending the race meeting featuring the sponsored group three White Robe Lodge Handicap in memory of Steven Anderton at Wingatui on Friday when his good galloper, Valiant collapsed and died in the closing stages of the open sprint, after leading up. Valiant, a Gallant Guru gelding who won eight races for Brian and his wife, Lorraine, was found to have ruptured a large vessel resulting in a fatal internal haemorrhage. It was a harrowing experience for his 16-yr-old rider Jacob Lowry, who was not injured. He is Brian's grandson.

The following day, Brian's pacer, New Year's Jay won the $16,000 final of the Summer Of Speed series at Ashburton. She won easily in 1.54.6 for the mile, her seventh win in 11 starts. New Years Jay wore the colours of Steve Anderton. The suggestion had come from Jonny Cox, the driver of New Years Jay and co-trainer with Amber Hoffman. Cox felt wearing the colours would be a fitting tribute to Steve from the wider horse racing industry.

New Years Jay will now be aimed at the $100,000 Breeders' Stakes at Addington on March 20.

"She will go back to Brian to freshen up and we will look for another race as a lead up to the Breeders' Stakes,'' said Cox.