WHAT did the Polish horse do? He won 12 in a row, no joke!
Team Valor International has acquired a 50 percent interest in the Polish-based 4-year-old Va Bank, who maintained his unbeaten certificate August 27 at Baden-Baden in Germany in winning the Group 3 Preis der Sparkassen Finanzgruppe over a mile and a quarter. The Archipenko colt’s 12-race winning streak is believed to be the longest in the world.
A bargain buy at Tattersalls Ireland as a yearling, Va Bank will now race in partnership with his Polish owner Janusz Zienkiewicz and continue to be trained in Warsaw by the colt’s developer Macel Janikowski.
TVI President Barry Irwin said “I have always maintained that a good horse can come from anywhere. And, when a horse is unbeaten, nobody knows where it is likely to level off. This is a serious racehorse, he has a tremendous turn of foot and he has a ton of heart.
“My wife Kathleen touted me on this one. She follows racing in obscure international regions. We tried and failed to buy him after he had won his last race in Poland, but we were stymied. After he won in Germany, we redoubled our efforts and were able to figure out how to get the deal done.”
Successful from 6 to 13 furlongs, Va Bank is likely to make the final start of his current campaign October 2 when he defends his crown in the Polish Group 1 Wielka Warszawska at Tor Sluzewiec in Warsaw. He is likely to be put away for the winter and resurface after a Polish prep for a major race either in Germany or France in 2017.
“While my new partner and I will be mindful of giving the colt his best chance to maintain his unbeaten record,” Irwin said, “we likely will experiment with him over more ground to find out if he is a middle distance runner or if he has the stamina to target the Melbourne Cup.”