Shadow Hero has long been spoken of by trainer Mark Newnham as a potential superior stayer and he showed why with his dazzling performance at Rosehill on Saturday.
The Punter’s Intelligence data out of the Group 2 Gloaming Stakes (1800m) show just how dominant he was and why he’s the horse to beat in the Spring Champion Stakes over 2000m on October 5.
At the 450m mark of the Gloaming, Shadow Hero was 13m behind the leader and he’d hit the front by the 250m with a slick turn of foot.
He ran a last 600m of 35.65 (the only runner to break 36) which was about 2-1/2 lengths faster than any other, his 11.57 from the 400m-200m rated about two lengths superior and 11.95 (last 200m) also about two lengths.
The writing was on the wall with his first-up run in the Dulcify earlier in the month that he’d come back better and this only confirmed it.
Honours in the Group 1 Golden Rose (1400m) went to Bivouac for his fighting effort to take out the three-year-old feature where, once again, Exceedance was the sectional stand out.
Exceedance posted the race’s best last 600m of 33.35, more than a length quicker than the winner, including a 10.88 (fastest 400m-200m) and 11.28 (fastest last 200m) but again had to give away too much start.
The tactical ability of Bivouac is a huge asset for the colt, the only sectional he was fastest in was early on where he ran 11.25 from the 1200m-1000m to establish himself on the speed.
Runner-up Yes Yes Yes matched Bivouac for the 1000m-800m and last 200m splits (11.42) but was faster than him in the middle three sections – the result came down to the fight in the last 20m.
What do we make of Castelvecchio? Sectionally, he appeared a bit too dour to go with the sharper three-year-olds given there seemed to be nowhere near the dash though he did run 33.82 for his last 600m.
Post-race he was found to have the thumps so that could provide some explanation, we’ll find out when he gets to the 2000m of the Spring Champion Stakes next.
The Golden Rose was run 0.7 seconds faster, or more than four lengths, than the Group 2 Golden Pendant over the same course as the leader Mizzy gained complete control.
She ran her first 600m in 37.46 compared to Yao Dash who led up the Rose in 36.71 so she was entitled to be sprinting home.
Mizzy clocked 33.34 and when the leader runs the fastest last 200m of the race (11.36 in her case) they don’t get beaten.
Runner-up Champagne Cuddles clocked the day’s fastest last 600m as she ran 33.23 but as mentioned Mizzy was the stronger on the line there.
The big shock was the disappointing showing by Enticing Star as she laboured into fifth and cast doubt on her competitiveness for the TAB Everest.
Sure she settled last and made a midrace dash, running 11.51 (800m-600m) and 10.99 (600m-400m) to be best of the race there, but it was late that’s the real concern.
Her last 200m of 11.60 was the second slowest of the seven runners so she was hardly attacking the line over the 1400m.
There should be a race over the carnival for Noire after her excellent second-up fourth in the Shannon Stakes (1500m) where he produced easily the best sectionals of the race.
She ran the fastest last 800m of 44.97, the last 600m in 33.38 and is clearly hitting her form at the right time, perhaps a race like the Angst Stakes (1600m) on October 12 is the one.
Fastest last 600m: Champagne Cuddles 33.23
Most ground covered (to win): But I Know +7.6m
Don’t miss Punter’s Intelligence with Gerard Middleton, Paul Joice and Brad Gray at 7pm on Tuesday on Sky Thoroughbred Central.