IN Racing
Mustang Valley caps huge day for Forsman
Trainer Andrew Forsman capped a successful day on both sides of the Tasman when Mustang Valley took the Gr.1 Livamol Classic.
NZ Racing Desk | October 15, 2022
Mustang Valley takes out the Gr.1 Livamol Classic. Photo: Trish Dunell

Trainer Andrew Forsman capped a successful day on both sides of the Tasman when progressive mare Mustang Valley bolted away with the Gr.1 Livamol Classic (2040m) at Hastings.

Forsman, who has had his team firing on all cylinders this season, had earlier captured back-to-back victories at Caulfield with Saint Bathans in a Benchmark 80 (1700m) contest and the Gr.3 Caulfield Classic (2000m) with current Gr.1 Victoria Derby (2500m) favourite Mr Maestro.

Having finished an eye-catching second behind La Crique in the Gr.1 Arrowfield Stud Plate (1600m) at Matamata just seven days ago, Mustang Valley was installed a warm ($2.30) favourite for the Hastings feature and she gave her supporters no need for concern, courtesy of a peach of a ride by Michael McNab.

Relishing the Heavy10 underfoot conditions, the four-year-old daughter of Vanbrugh travelled beautifully in midfield for McNab before making her move at the 600m to loop the field and take over on the home corner.

McNab went for gold as the mare put a gap on her rivals before coasting to the line four lengths to the good of runner-up Justaskme, who chased hard in the home straight and Defibrillate who made up good ground for third.

McNab was in awe of the mare’s performance as he described how the race had panned out.

“It worked out well as the main thing was to get her out of the gates,” he said.

“They didn’t go overly quick and I was in the perfect spot, so approaching the 700m I was going that well that I let her half-cart from there and it was more or less game over.

“I knew we were going well and I just kept growing in confidence.

“She had a great turn of foot, whereas some horses sort of coast and plateau in that ground, but she just sprinted really well.

“All credit to her and to Andrew as I just turned up and rode her.

“He is doing phenomenal things and I was the lucky recipient of all his hard work today.”

Forsman was in Melbourne with his Caulfield runners but caught all the action as it unfolded as Mustang Valley provided him with his first Group One success as a trainer in his own right after he struck out under his own banner back in May following a highly successful partnership with New Zealand Hall Of Fame trainer Murray Baker, who retired on April 30.

“It’s all pretty surreal as I’m sitting here at Caulfield having trained a couple of winners on Caulfield Cup day and now I’ve managed to get my first Group One victory on my own,” Forsman said.

“We knew she was going well but to see her do that was pretty special as I didn’t think it would unfold the way it did.

“I wasn’t really that nervous and was just hoping she would go like we thought she would, but in the end, she was completely dominant.

“In the past few weeks, she has kept getting better and better and has thrived with the racing.

“Track conditions certainly played in her favour, but realistically I don’t think it would have mattered what track she struck as she is at the top of her game and just flying.”

Forsman will now take some time to see how the mare recovers from the race and her trip away before deciding whether she will go for a spell or continue on with a possible trip across the Tasman.

“There is the temptation to think about coming over to Australia, but any thinking about that will be done after we see how she pulls up from today,” he said.

“Our team over here is also going great guns and I was thrilled with both Saint Bathans and Mr Maestro today.

“Saint Bathans will keep going through the grades while Mr Maestro will now go straight to the Derby (Gr.1, 2500m) on the first day at Flemington.”

Sharing the success at Caulfield with Forsman was Nick Hewson, the Sales and Nominations Manager at Windsor Park Stud who stand Mustang Valley’s sire, Vanbrugh.

Hewson had stayed on in Melbourne after watching She’s Licketysplit, who he shares in the ownership of, finish a brace third in Wednesday’s Gr.1 One Thousand Guineas (1600m) at Caulfield.

“We decided to stay over for a few more days, so to be here with Andrew and to share in his triumphs today is very special,” Hewson said.

“Watching Mustang Valley provide Vanbrugh with his first Group One win is just amazing and an even bigger thrill is the fact that I put the syndicate together that race her.

“She is fifty percent owned by Windsor Park along with ten of my mates from the rugby club I was involved with when I was living in Hong Kong.

“There are a few of them there at Hastings today and I’m sure they are celebrating in fine style after that result.

“Vanbrugh hasn’t had big numbers since he went to stud but he has done a superb job and he is rising to the top of the stallion ranks.

“I’m sure everybody back at Windsor Park will be walking on air right about now and it is a great boost for the sire and everyone involved.”

Vanbrugh, who was the winner of the Gr.1 Spring Champion Stakes (2000m) in Sydney as a three-year-old, commenced stud duties at Windsor Park in 2017 and stands for a fee of $6,000+GST for the 2022 breeding season. 

Andrew Forsman Mustang Valley Gr.1 Livamol Classic Saint Bathans Gr.3 Caulfield Classic Gr.1 Victoria Derby Mr Maestro La Crique Gr.1 Arrowfield Stud Plate Michael McNab Vanbrugh Justaskme Defibrillate Murray Baker Nick Hewson