Future stallion Castelvecchio increased his stud value substantially with a first class win in the Group 1 $600,000 Sky Racing Active Rosehill Guineas (2000m) at Rosehill today.
Castelvecchio scored his first win for almost twelve months after taking out the Group 1 $500,000 Champagne Stakes (1600m) at Randwick in his two year old season during the 2019 Sydney Autumn Carnival.
But the Richard Litt trained Dundeel colt did show that he was still up to the highest level with a second to Lys Gracieux in the Group 1 $5m Ladbrokes Cox Plate (2040m) at The Valley during the 2019 Melbourne Spring Carnival.
Leading Melbourne jockey Craig Williams was aboard Castelvecchio in the Cox Plate and was on top again today to steer the colt to a convincing win in the Rosehill Guineas.
“He’s going really well, better than ever, so onwards and upwards. Coming here today at 2000m with Craig Williams on board, even though Kerrin didn’t put a foot wrong, we were full of confidence coming here and the real Castelvecchio turned up,” Litt said.
“We are so proud of him, we’re very lucky to be here and very lucky to be racing in New South Wales and we’re grateful to have such a great horse. Craig is a genius, he had it all worked out and I couldn’t get a word in when I legged him on.”
Castelvecchio’s usual pattern of racing is to settle well back in the field but Williams had the colt positioned in the first four and five for most of the way before surging to the front once heads were turned for home.
Runner up Prince Fawqaz, one of the outsiders at $41, also travelled in a forward position and laid down the challenge to Castelvecchio ($7) half way down the straight, but the Litt trained colt was too strong at the finish and half a length to spare.
The Chris Waller trained Reloaded ($10) ran a mighty race to finish third just ahead of the $3.20 favourite Shadow Hero who tried hard in the run home but made little impression on the winner.
Castelvecchio is now the $3.80 favourite at Ladbrokes.com.au for the Group 1 $2m Australian Derby (2400m) at Randwick on Day One of The Championships on April 4 but Litt and his owners have the option of starting the colt in the Group 1 $4m Longines Queen Elizabeth Stakes (2000m) at Randwick the following week.
“He holds a nomination in the Derby and the Queen Elizabeth so we will let his connections make those decisions,” Litt said.
“Today it looked like he was running away from them and I think he would eat up the Derby. There’s some wonderful prizemoney on offer there’s plenty of thinking to do. Wherever he goes he’s going to be very hard to beat.”
Castelvecchio is on the fourth line of betting at $6 for the Queen Elizabeth Stakes.