Sometimes you see something and think ‘I have to have that’! That is exactly how I felt when I first saw GREYVAL run in France in the spring of this year. I had made enquiries to purchase her through the summer – but the owner/breeder (who incidentally owned and bred Yauthym) had decided that she would only be for sale at the Arqana Autumn Sale in Deauville. So, we had to be patient – but we got there in the end, and we managed to get her!
PHYSICAL: Greyval is a fine big filly with size and scope Standing 16.1 ½ hh she has a great walk and a very athletic trot. She was vetted at the sales by a UK vet and passed the inspection.
FORM: Two educational runs at 2 – 4th/12 over 9.5f on debut followed by 8th/14 over 10f Seven runs at 3 yrs.
Greyval started her 3 yr old campaign with a win over 1m4f in Nantes on ground described as Heavy, she then returned to the same course and distance to finish second in a Class 2 race, the winner of which went on to be placed twice at Group 3 level and earned a rating of 105.
She then stepped into a very competitive handicap in Longchamp where she wasn’t beaten far, before returning to winning ways over 1m4f in Nantes again, this time on ground described as Good.
Her next start was again in Nantes where she was second in a Class 1 race on Good to Soft ground, beaten just ¾ length. The fourth horse in this race, which was a further 3 ¾ lengths behind Greyval and carrying the same weight has since gone on to be placed at Listed level.
Greyval then contested two very competitive handicaps at the big meeting in Deauville in August and another in Saint Cloud, where she ran with credit both times.
PEDIGREE: Greyval is by a young stallion The Grey Gatsby, and is part of his first crop born in 2019. The Grey Gatsby is the highest rated son of the wonderful Mastercraftsman and was the easy 3l winner of the French Derby. With his eldest runners just 3 yr olds – he has already sired the winner of 4 stakes races from just 8 runners in that grade. I believe his stock are tough, durable, can go on all ground and he is very much a young stallion of note.
Her dam, Valley Girl is by Derby winner Motivator, and was the winner of two races in France over 10 and 12f reaching a rating of 78 on the flat. She is the half sister to Listed winner Turning World who herself is the dam of Wooturn who has been placed 3 times at Listed level at 2 and 3 yrs.
I believe Greyval has a very bright future in the National Hunt sphere in the UK. She has all the physical attributes for hurdles (and fences in the future), and her form at middle distances on all types of ground make her an ideal candidate.
We always have plan – and we already know what we would like to do with Greyval – she has arrived with Jason Maguire who will start by lose schooling her before getting her going over hurdles in the arena. She will then progress to his purpose schooling lane, and when he thinks that the time is right she will head into training with Fergal O’Brien at Ravenswell Farm. Fergal will assess her fitness and if all goes well she should make her debut in a juvenile hurdle for maiden fillies in Doncaster between Christmas and New Year. If all goes well there, she will return to the same venue for a Listed fillies juvenile in late January. This is a route I have taken with two previous 3 yr old fillies I have purchased from France, and we have gained valuable black type for both of them. After this the plan is fluid – another run and a suitable handicap mark would qualify her for the Boodles Handicap Hurdle at the Cheltenham Festival, or alternatively she could stay low key and head for the valuable Graded handicap for 4 yr old fillies at Cheltenham in April.
Going forward, I see her as an ideal candidate for novice chases in the autumn of 2023, where she will receive all of the sex, and age weight allowances.
I tried for a long time to get this filly – 3 yr olds out of France are something I take a keen interest, and we have a 100% record with all of the fillies we have sourced from France and run over hurdles – gaining valuable black type on the way. Our record with juvenile hurdlers over the years is also pretty good – of all of the horses that we have purchased in the UK, France and Germany, all of them bar one have won juvenile hurdles, and the one that failed to do so had plenty of ability to do so but was sadly lost in action on only his second start over timber. This is a record I am fiercely proud of, and it is a mark of how highly In rate Greyval in that I have followed her from April in an effort to secure her for the team.
PRICE: 10% shares are priced at £4000 each (inc VAT)
Monthly training/keep costs are £240 per 10% share and are all inclusive
There are no hidden costs, and you will never be asked for additional funds.
TRAINER: Fergal O’Brien, based just outside Cheltenham
SYNDICATE MANAGER: Nick Brown/Alex Fice