Phillip Stokes’ Sir John Monash Stakes winning...
The money continues to roll in for VRC Derby hopeful Shadow Hero to win the 2019 Spring Champion Stakes in Sydney this weekend with the in-form three-year-old odds-on favourite for the Randwick feature.
Pierro gelding Shadow Hero is one of 11 young stayers facing off in Saturday’s Group 1 $1 million Moet & Chandon Spring Champion Stakes (2000m) on the same day Melbourne hosts the Group 1 $2 million Ladbrokes Caulfield Guineas (1600m).
Prepared by Mark Newnham, Shadow Hero is $1.85 to enjoy back-to-back wins in the latest Spring Champion Stakes odds at Ladbrokes.com.au after drawing barrier two.
Jockey Josh Parr retains the ride on the gelding whose last start produced a runaway 3.3 length victory in Rosehill’s Group 3 Gloaming Stakes (1800m).
Shadow Hero is now tipped to relish the step-up to 2000m before a likely trip to Flemington on November 2 for the Group 1 $2 million Victoria Derby (2500m), which he leads all-in betting for at $3.
“The Gloaming Stakes is usually the best lead-up race into the Spring Champion Stakes and I think Shadow Hero was more impressive than I could have expected last start,” Newnham told The Daily Telegraph this week.
“Every race he contested he has been the strongest horse late.”
There has been 10 winners of the Gloaming Stakes-Spring Champion double that Shadow Hero chases this year: Kingston Town (1980), Best Western (1981), Sir Dapper (1983), Magic Of Sydney (1996), Tie The Knot (1997), Fairway(1999), It’s A Dundeel (2012), Complacent (2013), Vanbrugh (2015) and Ace High (2017).
The Murray Baker & Andrew Forsman-trained Quick Thinker is the next best in all-in Victoria Derby betting at $10 and also runs in the Spring Champion Stakes as a $6 shot in gate four this weekend.
One of two in the Sydney Group 1 for Cambridge trainers Baker and Forsman, So You Think colt Quick Thinker won the Group 3 Ming Dynasty Quality (1400m) in the wet in late August at Rosehill before his third in the Gloaming 4.3 lengths beaten.
Stablemate Rhaegar meanwhile is a $34 outsider in Spring Champion Stakes betting after fading late when seventh in the Gloaming Stakes.
After Shadow Hero the other shortest-priced Derby hopeful in the Spring Champion Stakes odds at $3.80 and firming is early market mover Castelvecchio.
The Richard Litt-trained Dundeel colt won the Group 1 Champagne Stakes (1600m) at the Randwick track as a juvenile in the autumn and presents fit third-up on Saturday.
He ran fourth first-up behind Just Thinkin’ in the Listed Dulcify Quality (1500m), a race Saturday’s top fancy Shadow Hero ran third in, before his second last in the Group 1 Golden Rose Stakes (1400m) last time out.
It was a blanket finish in the Golden Rose this season with seventh placed Castelvecchio only four lengths off the winner Bivouac in the Group 1.
The extra metres should suit Litt’s runner in the Spring Champion with jockey Brenton Avdulla coming aboard for the ride.
Dulcify Quality winner Just Thinkin’ for Gai Waterhouse & Adrian Bott is the other key player paying $7.50 to get back in the winners’ stall after the So You Think gelding ran fourth in the Gloaming.
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