The Sunday Telegraph (Sydney) - - RACING - RAY THOMAS

SHADOW Hero an­nounced him­self as the horse to beat in the Spring Cham­pion Stakes and Vic­to­ria Derby with a com­mand­ing win at Rose­hill Gar­dens yes­ter­day.

Trainer Mark Newn­ham has al­ways had a big opin­ion of Shadow Hero but even he was taken aback by his three­year-old’s de­mo­li­tion job in the Group 3 $200,000 Gloam­ing Stakes (1800m).

“I was sur­prised he won so eas­ily be­cause he has so much im­prove­ment to come,’’ Newn­ham said.

“His coat is not quite there yet and he was only sec­ond-up. That’s what we hoped he was and that’s what I thought he was but to­day he has con­firmed it.”

Shadow Hero ($2.90 favourite), rid­den by Josh Parr, came from well back to storm past his ri­vals to win by 3¼ lengths from Sube­dar ($10) with Quick Thinker ($4) a length away third.

Newn­ham said Shadow Hero re­minds him a lot of the geld­ing’s sire, for­mer cham­pion Pierro.

“His de­meanour will take him a long way, he’s so re­laxed which is just like his sire,’’ Newn­ham said.

“I think Josh 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 Pierro in that sense — you put the blink­ers on and he turns into a su­per­hero.”

Newn­ham said Shadow Hero will go straight to the Group 1 $1 mil­lion Spring Cham­pion Stakes (2000m) at Royal Rand­wick on Oc­to­ber 12 and may not have an­other start be­fore the Group 1 $2 mil­lion Vic­to­ria Derby (2500m) at Flem­ing­ton on November 2.

Parr said “con­vinc­ing” was the best way to de­scribe Shadow Hero’s run­away win.

“This is one of very few mo­ments in my life I’m lost for words,’’ he said. “He was a class above these horses to­day. Ob­vi­ously this horse’s abil­ity has been known for some time but we were un­sure just what level he could get to.

“He’s just de­mol­ished them at 1800m and I think he could go again. He’s got such a fan­tas­tic at­ti­tude, it’s re­mark­able.’’

Shadow Hero (Josh Parr) runs away with yes­ter­day’s Gloam­ing Stakes. Pic­ture: Si­mon Bullard

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