English jockey Tom Marquand might be at home on the other side of the world but his influence will be felt on Castelvechhio in the Sires Produce Stakes at Randwick on Saturday.
Trainer Richard Litt says the Dundeel colt, which was responsible for the most remarkable two-year-old win of the season coming from last at Canterbury on debut in January, might never have been the horse without Marquands hint after his second trial at Warwick Farm.
“Tom, who is one of the best jockeys around, rode him for me at Warwick Farm and a horse broke down in front of him and he had to go wide and finished last,” Litt said. “Tommy came back and said this is a really nice horse, hell grow a leg when you put blinkers on him.
“I remember the phone call from [owner] Ottavio [Galletta], he wasnt impressed at all, I want to see him do something today and he did nothing.
“I said to him trust him, well put blinkers on him and run at Canterbury and see how he goes.
"Tom had been booked for one of the Hayes at Canterbury, so Josh Parr got on him and the rest is history.
“When I looked up at Canterbury and he was five lengths in front just past the post that when I thought this horse is special.”
Castelvecchio was sent out a $71 chance that night and was off the bit chasing at the 600m but boomed home to win. Next was the Inglis Millennium where again he couldn't keep up but came widest in the straight and scored by two lengths.
“It is pretty incredible, it is so hard to explain the feeling. When we won the Inglis Millennium – it is a feeling I haven't had before and it is a feeling I want again very quickly,” Litt said.
“We have always felt it would be Sires' for him rather than the Slipper but we gave him his chance to get there in the Skyline.
“He ran third but the form doesnt look that bad now.”
Of course the Skyline winner Microphone was the Golden Slipper runner-up and Cosmic Force would come out and blow the Pago Pago field apart by more than seven lengths.
“He was finishing so hard that he got to them about 10 metres past the post and it was the run of a horse looking for 1400m,” Litt said. “He has a set-racing pattern but I dont think I have seen a two-year-old with sprint like his before, but Im biased.
“I think he might be closer in the run on Saturday, but the further he goes the better he is going to get. We thought he would be a three-year-old miler when we bought him.”
Castelvecchio is the horse a young trainer wants early in their career and after just two years training in his own right Litt is excited about having his first group 1 Read More – Source