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Valadon continued his racing education with a pleasing victory under a penalty at Newbury on Tuesday, 23 January, in a Class 3 Junior NH Hurdle in the colours of Roly Stuart-Jervis.

He is progressing and learning with each run and showed a willing attitude as he buckled down to see off the persistent challenge of Wreckless Eric by three-quarters of a length.

I liked the way the first two pulled a long way clear of their rivals in the closing stages and Johnny Burke was very positive about our fellow afterwards. Valadon has now won two of his three starts and is improving with racing and the form of his debut run when second at Exeter has been impressively franked by the winner Salver, who landed a Grade 2 Hurdle at Chepstow just after Christmas.

Valadon is improving mentally, too, his jumping was fluent and he is a thoroughly nice young prospect who is very much going the right way. We will take one race at a time with him and look for another suitable opportunity in a month so.

His latest success came as a welcome tonic for the yard after we lost a very promising prospect, I Won’t Back Down, in a freak accident at home. He won his Point-to-Point in Ireland, and we felt he had a big future after finishing fourth on his debut for us in a decent bumper at Ascot just before Christmas.  Our commiserations to his team of owners in the Noel Fehily Racing Syndicate.

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