Trainer Mark Newnham is eyeing back-to- back wins in Spring Champion Stakes following Shadow Hero’s dominant success in the Gloaming Stakes at Rosehill.
Newnham claimed his first Group One win in the 2018 Spring Champion (2000m) with Maid Of Heaven and has every reason to be confident after Shadow Hero lived up to his $2.90 favouritism in Saturday’s 1800m race.
“That’s what we wanted to see,” Newnham said.
“He’s a very relaxed horse and his demeanour will take him a long way.
“I think Josh (Parr) was a little worried when he rode him work on Tuesday, he was a bit too relaxed for him.
“I said, ‘Don’t worry, we haven’t put the blinkers on him yet’. He’s a bit like his sire Pierro in that sense – you put the blinkers on and he turns into a superhero.”
Shadow Hero travelled midfield before assuming control in the straight to beat Subedar ($10) by 3-1/4 lengths, with Quick Thinker ($4) another length third.
Shadow Hero is now the Victoria Derby favourite, with his stablemate Celestial Falls, winner of Wednesday’s VRC Oaks Trial at Flemington, the second favourite for the Oaks.
“He and Celestial Falls, their build-up to these races second-up over 1800 metres has been in the works for quite a while and they’ve had plenty of miles in their legs to get them here,” Newnham said.
“I just didn’t see the point of wasting runs at 1200 and 1400 metres with them, especially when they get run off their feet and they end up having a harder run than they need so he’s had the right build up for this.
“Hopefully we get to the Spring Champion Stakes in good order and then on to Melbourne.”
Parr said Shadow Hero was a class above his rivals.
“He’s a class above these horses today. One of very few moments in my life I’m lost for words,” he said.
“He’s just demolished them at 1800 metres and I think he could go again.
“He’s got such a fantastic attitude. You cannot stir this horse, it’s remarkable.
“I’m just delighted to be a part of him.”