September Sale Grads Impressive at Royal Ascot

September Sale Grads Impressive at Royal Ascot

Ideally situated on the international racing calendar between the Triple Crown and the boutique summer meets at Saratoga Race Course and Del Mar in the U.S., the prestigious Royal Ascot meet at Ascot Racecourse in England draws an elite group of horses, owners and trainers from throughout the world.

While the members of the Royal Family in attendance each day attract much attention, Royal Ascot’s competitive races showcase some of the best Thoroughbreds on the world stage.

Major Wins for Amo Racing

This year, two of the most impressive performances during the meet were turned in by Keeneland September Yearling Sale graduates King of Steel and Valiant Force. A 2-year-old Malibu Moon colt, Valiant Force is trained by Adrian Murray for Kia Joorabchian's Amo Racing, Mrs. Roger O’Callaghan and G. DeAguiar. Roger Varian trains 3-year-old King of Steel for Amo Racing Ltd.

We've been trying for a long time. We keep getting beat but we keep fighting back. Knockdown and get up! Now we've done it, we've broken the duck, let's move on from there. I'm grateful to everyone on the team.
Kia Joorabchian

A Stunning Upset

Sent off at astronomical odds of 150-1 at Royal Ascot (119-1 in U.S. pools), Valiant Force went to the front at the start of the Norfolk Stakes (G2) and held off 66-1 shot Malc by 1¼ lengths. A juvenile son of Malibu Moon, Valiant Force provided his owner and his Ireland-based trainer with their first Royal Ascot victories.

It's brilliant, I just cannot believe it … I'm just speechless. It's great for the small man.
Trainer Adrian Murray

Successful Foal Share Venture

Valiant Force was bred on a foal-share arrangement between Spendthrift Farm, which provided the mating to Malibu Moon for Ramon Horta "RJ" Rangel’s mare Vigui’s Heart. Rangel is assistant yearling manager at Spendthrift, the iconic Lexington nursery where Malibu Moon stood at stud. Valiant Force was initially purchased as a weanling by J.R.L. 3 Racing for $75,000 at the 2021 Keeneland November Breeding Stock Sale. Consigned by Eaton Sales to the 2022 September Sale, Valiant Force was hammered down to Robson Aguiar and Roger O'Callaghan for $100,000.

Without these people (Spendthrift Farm) trying to help the little guys, I probably wouldn't be talking today with you.
Ramon Horta "RJ" Rangel (Bloodhorse)

Steel Steals King Edward

Amo Racing’s Royal Ascot double came with the impressive front-running King Edward VII Stakes (G2) victory by King of Steel, the race favorite on the basis of a second-place finish in the Betfred Derby (G1) at Epsom Racecourse. The 3-year-old gray son of the Coolmore stallion Wootton Bassett won for the second time in four career starts and improved his career earnings to $602,398.

King of steel
King of steel

This horse floats—he's obviously got size and he's proved he can go on any ground. His first race, his maiden, was on soft and his last two races have been on firm, so he's so diverse. He's going to be a wonderful horse.
Kia Joorabchian

Twice the Size of Other Yearlings

Bred in Kentucky by Bonne Chance Farm, King of Steel was consigned to the 2021 September Sale by Gainesway and was purchased by Amo Racing UK for $200,000.

(Bloodstock agent) Alex Elliott and I saw this horse as a yearling at Keeneland and Alex said, 'If there's one horse I need you to buy, it's this guy,' and he was so big, and twice the size of other yearlings
Kia Joorabchian (Racing Post)