Fifth Group I Winner for Pierro
Golden Slipper winner Pierro has made a brilliant start to the new season and has two favourites for The Everest in Pierata and Arcadia Queen, but he also has a new Group I winning three year-old with exciting young stayer Shadow Hero (2g Pierro x Sookie, by Casino Prince) scoring a dominant win in the Group I ATC Spring Champion Stakes over 2000 metres at Randwick.
Raised and sold by Newgate Farm, the Mark Newnham-trained gelding was a hot favourite and zoomed home from back in the field to overhaul the leaders and win by a length for Josh Parr over last season’s Group I winning colt Castelvecchio.
For trainer Mark Newnham it was back to back wins in the race as he won the Spring Champion Stakes last year with classy filly Maid of Heaven.
“It was pretty special,” said Mark Newnham.
“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."
Purchased by Sweetbriar Equine for $260,000 out of the Newgate Farm draft at the 2018 Inglis Classic Yearling Sale, Shadow Hero was bred by Greg and Donna Kolivos, who raced his sire Pierro.
He has put together an impressive record with three wins and two placings from six starts with earnings in excess of $800,000.
"He's a really clean winded animal and any time he gallops he hardly blows, Newnham said.
“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."
Now headed for the Group I VRC Victoria Derby next month, Shadow Hero is the second foal and second winner out of Group III winner Sookie, a grand-daughter of Champion 2YO Filly Victory Vein by Casino Prince. Sookie has a yearling filly by Pierro to follow and was not covered last spring.
Shadow Hero is the fifth Group I winner for Pierro who is fully booked this spring at a fee of $88,000.