The Jenny Graham-trained Victorem scored an...
The feature race of the day lived up to the hype on Saturday at Randwick as trainer Mark Newnham claimed a second consecutive Spring Champion Stakes (2000m) victory with classy three-year-old Shadow Hero.
The gelding by Pierro was installed as the favourite when fields were announced earlier in the week and it didn’t take long to see why.
In the early stages, Shadow Hero sat three-wide before daylight opened up down the straight. All eyes were on the leader Just Thinkin’ along the rails with 200m to go, right before Shadow Hero stormed down the middle of the track to win by a length at the line.
It was a gutsy win from Shadow Hero on Saturday after claiming the Group 3 Gloaming Stakes (1800m) at Rosehill a fortnight prior – especially with Castelvecchio looming alongside.
Jockey Josh Parr did a great job staying patient with just over a furlong remaining and spoke after the race about the late challenge.
“He had a good crack at me late and this guy pinned his ears back and stuck I out for me. He’s a classy animal prepared beautifully by Mark Newnham and his team at Warwick Farm,” Parr said.
Newnham won last year’s Spring Champion Stakes with Maid Of Heaven but didn’t hold back when asked how much Shadow Hero’s win meant.
“It was pretty special. Last year we came here as a 10/12-1 chance and you give yourself a chance of winning. Here we were expected to win. I’ve thought for the last 3 months that this is the race for him. It’s just terrific that the plan has come together,” Newnham said.
The plan now is for Shadow Hero to head to the Victoria Derby (2500m) for another shot a Group 1 glory. Following Saturday’s win, Shadow Hero has since firmed into $3.00 favouritism with Ladbrokes.com.au ahead of the race on November 2.
“He’s good enough, I’ve thought it for a long time so there’s no point in me backing out now,” Newnham said when asked on what’s next.
Full 2019 Victoria Derby Odds can be viewed here.
2019 Spring Champion Stakes Results & Finishing Order
|1||2||SHADOW HERO||Mark Newnham||Joshua Parr||–||2||56.5kg||$1.90F|
|2||1||CASTELVECCHIO||Richard Litt||Brenton Avdulla||1L||7||56.5kg||$3.10|
|3||10||BATTENBURG (NZ)||John Thompson||Ms Rachel King||1.1L||1||56.5kg||$41|
|4||3||JUST THINKIN’||Gai Waterhouse & Adrian Bott||Tim Clark||1.3L||10||56.5kg||$8|
|5||4||QUICK THINKER||Murray Baker & Andrew Forsman||Nash Rawiller||3.6L||4||56.5kg||$13|
|6||8||SIRMAZE||Jason Coyle||Adam Hyeronimus||5.3L||8||56.5kg||$101|
|7||7||SCICONIC||Richard & Michael Freedman||Glen Boss||5.9L||5||56.5kg||$101|
|8||9||PERSAN||David Payne||Glyn Schofield||6L||3||56.5kg||$51|
|9||11||RENT A ROCK||Danny Williams||Robbie Dolan (a)||10.4L||6||56.5kg||$201|
|10||5||RHAEGAR||Murray Baker & Andrew Forsman||Jason Collett||22.3L||9||56.5kg||$71|
|11||6||DUMMY RUN||David Payne||Martin Harley||23.4L||11||56.5kg||$151|
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