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Castelvecchio, the only Group 1 winner in the field, can assert his class and upset hot favourite Shadow Hero in the $1 million Spring Champion Stakes (2000m).
That is the opinion of ratings genius Gary Crispe, who has Castelvecchio emulating his sire (It’s A) Dundeel’s win in the 2012 edition of the threeyear-old classic.
Crispe said Shadow Hero (third) and Castelvecchio (fourth) finished alongside each other in the Dulcify Stakes (1500m) last month but he favoured the latter now he was finally out to a middle distance.
“I concede Shadow Hero was very impressive winning the Gloaming Stakes (1800m) at his last start,’’ Crispe said.
“However, I’m not sure he would have done much more than Castelvecchio did in the Group 1 Golden Rose (1400m) last time.
“Castelvecchio was run off his feet last start but he wasn’t disgraced and went to the line just behind Kubrick, who is third favourite for the Caulfield Guineas tomorrow.
“I remember in his twoyear-old preparation, Castelvecchio exploded when he got out to the mile (1600m) for the Champagne Stakes and ran to a Timeform rating of 121.
“Shadow Hero got to a figure of 117 off the Gloaming and, while progressive, he will need to be if Castelvecchio can produce his best.’’
Crispe noted that jockey Josh Parr had the choice between the two star three-yearolds and chose the improving Shadow Hero.
Brenton Avdulla is the new rider of Castelvecchio.
“Castelvecchio was sent out $5 and Shadow Hero $21 when they last met and it appears to me the (betting) market has overreacted off the back of one performance,’’ Crispe said in reference to Shadow Hero’s runaway Gloaming Stakes win.
“If Castelvecchio goes close to reproducing his Champagne Stakes effort then he will take a fair bit of beating.’’
Crispe said the likelihood of a wet track brought Quick Thinker into the race, while Just Thinkin’ was the other main contender.
Article taken from Daily Telegraph, published Friday 11th October 2019, Author, Ray Thomas, Page 61.