Group 1 glory was claimed by Shadow Hero today, victorious in the 2019 Spring Champion Stakes at Randwick 12thOctober. With our hearts in our mouths we watched him jump from barrier two. He settled mid field, comfortable in his running. Finding clean air at the turn, it wasn’t until the 100m mark that Shadow Hero finally reeled in the leaders, winning by a length to Castelvecchio (Dundeel/St Therese), closely followed by the very brave Battenburg (Reliable Man/Oh So Royal). What a day!
Mark won this race last year, chalking up his then first Group 1 success, but this year was different. There was extra pressure for one – a lot of planning and preparation went into targeting this race, and he had declared Shadow Hero would win months before. Adding to the tension, was the fact that he was now the $1.90 favourite.
To the talented Josh Parr, our sincere and heartfelt congratulations. It wasn’t an easy choice to stay on Shadow Hero when Castelvecchio had meant so much to him, but to his merit he made the tough decision. He also had to eat up the pressure of being the favourite, but he handled it all with grace and the upmost professionalism.
Special owners for a special horse, David Lui and Karl Chan of Sweetbriar Equine, both flew in from Hong Kong, meeting up with Patrick Yeung for the race. It was wonderful to see the pure joy and happiness on their faces when ‘Hero’ went across the line.
Shadow Hero (Pierro/Sookie) possesses such a laid-back approach to his racing, yet he has the ability to dig deep when called upon, his determination and grit reminiscent of his sire. He really is our Super Hero.
The Kolivos Family owned and raced Pierro when Mark was at Tulloch Lodge and a close connection was formed between them all. So, it is with much delight that we now get to race the son of Pierro, Shadow Hero. He was raised and sold by Newgate Farm, but bred under the Kolivos breeding banner, Lightning Thoroughbreds.
Lastly but certainly not least, we congratulate the staff. Many of you work tirelessly behind the scenes, all to achieve that perfect moment in racing, often with little or no accolades.
Its onwards and upwards to the Victoria Derby …… and beyond.