HERO EMERGES FROM SHADOWS
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