-->

The Mark Newnham trained Shadow Hero showed his class with a top staying effort to score an impressive win in the Group 1 $1m Moet & Chandon Spring Champion Stakes (2000m) at Randwick today.

Shadow Hero, above, wins the 2019 Spring Champion Stakes at Randwick. Photo by Steve Hart.

Shadow Hero, above, wins the 2019 Spring Champion Stakes at Randwick. Photo by Steve Hart.

Shadow Hero was sent out as the short priced $1.90 favourite and was able to make it back to back Spring Champion Stakes wins for Newnham who won the three year old Group 1 with his filly Maid Of Heaven last year.

“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.

Josh Parr had Shadow Hero travelling smoothly on the fence in fifth spot for the majority of the race while Just Thinkin’ set a solid tempo up front.

Josh manoeuvred a clear passage on the home turn and nursed Shadow Hero up the rise before hitting top gear for the run to the line.

Shadow Hero wound up nicely and gathered in the leaders over the final 50m to record his third win from six race starts.

“Josh had to ride him a little bit closer than we had previously. The way the track was playing and that was the way to do it. From the 300m home he still had a lot of work to do. The leader still had a fair gap on us. He’s a real staying talent and that kicked in the last bit,” Newnham said.

“He’s a really clean winded animal. Any time he gallops he hardly blows. Getting to these sort of trips on a big track like Randwick is what we’ve been waiting for. Just for the whole plan to come together with owners out from Hong Kong, we mapped out the trials and runs.”

Brenton Avdulla settle the second favourite Castelvecchio ($3.10) near the tail of the field with two behind him for most of the way before swinging wide on the home turn to try to chase the chase down.

Castelvecchio made up plenty of ground in the straight but failed by a length to run down Shadow Hero to finish in second spot.

The John Thompson trained Battenburg ($41) tried hard in the straight to find third spot with the leader Just Thinkin’ ($8) hanging on for fourth.

Newnham had earmarked Shadow Hero as a Derby horse and will now head to Melbourne for the Group 1 $2m AAMI Victoria Derby (2500m) at Flemington on November 2.

“He’s good enough. I’ve thought it for a long time. I’m no good me backing out now. He’s a Warwick Farm horse but the team at both stables deserve credit.”

About The Author

Mark Mazzaglia

Mark is a passionate journalist with a life-time involvement in the racing industry. He spent many years as an analyst and form expert at the Courier Mail and also has hands-on experience working with some of Queensland’s top trainers.