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Shadow Hero has the most outstanding form of the four impressive last-start trial winners going into a strong edition of the Group 1 $2 million Victoria Derby (2500m) at Flemington tomorrow.
Timeform guru Gary Crispe said the Derby was shaping as an intriguing showdown between in-form three-year-olds Shadow Hero (Spring Champion Stakes), Thought Of That (Caulfield Classic), Soul Patch (Moonee Valley Vase) and Long Jack (Geelong Classic).
But Crispe said Shadow Hero's last-start Spring Champion Stakes win was an outstanding staying effort that returned a 117 rating, a figure he also reached when winning the Gloaming Stakes earlier this spring.
"I have even more confidence in Shadow Hero's ability to get the job done in the Derby after Sydney's other top three-year-old, Castelvecchio, ran second to Lys Gracieux in the Cox Plate last week,'' Crispe said.
"Castelvecchio, at his previous start, was runner-up to Shadow Hero in the Spring Champion Stakes which is a nice compliment to the Shadow Hero form.''
Crispe said Caulfield Classic winner Thought Of That "blitzed the clock" last start, taking control of the race a long way out.
"Thought Of That then zoomed away, putting a big gap between him and the chasing pack,'' he said.
"He returned a rating of 116, stepping up on a big rating of 102 that came with the blinkers applied at Donald. His Classic win has a similar look to the win of Polanski in the same race in 2013 before that horse went on to produce one of the best Derby wins in recent times.''
Soul Patch is the lone runner from the Caulfield Guineas to take his place in this year's Derby and he strengthened his claims with a 113-rated win in the Moonee Valley Vase last week.
"He was too far back in the Guineas but finished full of running,'' Crispe said.
"In the Vase, he again finished with zest and although he has something to make up on the two at the top of the betting there is reason to think we are yet to see the very best of him.''
Crispe said although there was some query around Thought Of That and Soul Patch stretching out to the extended trip, there were no such concerns for Geelong Classic winner Long Jack.
"He's out of a Monsun mare and Monsun is a deep source of stamina,'' Crispe said.
"While the Geelong Classic was the weakest of the Derby trials, he was dominant. He travelled all over them from a long way out.''
Article taken from Daily Telegraph, published Friday 1st November 2019, Author, Ray Thomas, Page 61.