You Got To Me firing Classic dreams for Valmont

Co-owners hoping Lingfield Oaks Trial winner can sparkle at Epsom.

It can take plenty of patience to unearth a Classic contender, but You Got To Me heads to Epsom giving co-owners Valmont plenty to dream about as their considered investment begins to bear fruit.

Owned in conjunction with Newsells Park Stud, the Ralph Beckett-trained daughter of Nathaniel announced herself as a Betfred Oaks contender when making all in the hands of Hector Crouch in Lingfield’s Oaks Trial last weekend.

Cut to as short as 10-1 for Epsom after being given a masterful ride from Crouch, her owners can now begin to envisage their go-to pilot recreating that Lingfield triumph in another undulating part of Surrey later this month.

“She was a filly we always liked last year, but with her physique and her pedigree, she was always going to make a better three-year-old when she stepped up in trip,” explained Alex Elliott, racing adviser for the owners.

“She did it the hard way and didn’t make it easy for herself in the first part of the race, but hopefully the freshness will have left her now and we can ride a bit more of a race on her at Epsom and we’re looking forward to that.

“Hector rides the majority of ours and knows them well. He didn’t get into a fight with her and knows her well from home and I thought he was very good on her.

“Our programme is we buy more of a three-year-old type so it takes a bit of patience and foresight, but these are the races we want to be tackling and hopefully we’re assembling a nice team of horses to do that.”

You Got To Me (left) winning at Lingfield
You Got To Me (left) winning at Lingfield (Steve Paston/PA)

Although not strangers to the winner’s enclosure, the Valmont team, who have been active players at the major sales over the past few seasons, are finally developing a squad of horses that could make their white, pink and blue silks a regular feature in some of the Flat season’s biggest contests.

Four-year-olds Salt Bay and Ngiri have been standout performers for the owners in recent years and continue to ply their trade at a high level.

But now You Got To Me gives them their first real Classic contender, while the likes of Valvano, Feigning Madness and Moon Over Miami could all have big-race aspirations later in the season.

Valvano impressed on his debut at Nottingham last autumn
Valvano impressed on his debut at Nottingham last autumn (Simon Marper/PA)

Valvano was last seen finishing second to 2000 Guineas hero Notable Speech at Kempton, but his own Classic ambitions had to be put on hold following a setback. He is currently working his way back to race fitness as connections still have high hopes for the well-entered son of Night Of Thunder.

“We got a little bit of a hold up with Valvano which meant we had to miss the Derby trials, so we took him out of the Derby,” explained Elliott.

“We’re just letting the horse tell us when he’s ready. We obviously think he’s an exciting prospect and there is no panic with a horse of his potential. Hopefully he is still in line for a big year.”

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