Boom staying prospect He Shall Power is striving to continue his rise to stardom when he heads to The Meadows for the first time on Saturday night.
Despite winning only one of his four 700m assignments and with an unremarkable four from 20 overall record, He Shall Power has been tagged the next big thing in the staying ranks, largely on the back of an unlucky third in the Group 1 Sandown Cup.
“He’s inexperienced of course but he’s got a very good motor,” said Pearcedale trainer David Crawford, who prepares He Shall Power along with wife Shona.
“They keep rapping him up as the new kid on the block but I think they’re doing that to generate interest.
“I threw him to the wolves in the Sandown Cup but races like that only come around once a year and he could nearly have won it. He’s broken 42 seconds in all four of his 715m runs at Sandown, which is very consistent.
“He’s a Grade 5 around The Meadows and I would like to get him into a few easier races but they’re hard to find for stayers.”
He Shall Power is TAB’s $2.70 favourite in a star-studded GR8 Eight special event (725m), also featuring surprise Sandown Cup hero Bronski Beat, champion galloper Tornado Tears and his brilliant younger brother Here’s Tears and Group 1 winner True Detective.
The seven combatants combined have banked a staggering $1.5 million in prizemoney.
He Shall Power will be on debut at The Meadows, having only raced on three tracks to date – Sandown, Cranbourne and Warragul – with Crawford admitting box eight might not be ideal.
“I’m not sure if the pink box is going to suit him that much,” Crawford said.
“I don’t know where he’ll end up on the first corner from box eight but if he gets a clear run behind the red (Bronski Beat) I think he would pick it up in the last 100m.
“Tornado Tears is a freak but he’s 4 ½ now and you can’t expect him to be as good as he was when he was 2 ½.
“He Shall Power has had one trial at The Meadows. It was over 500m and he didn’t go sensational but I don’t think the track was great.
“He has a good chance and if he gets a clear run he’ll be hard to beat, put it that way.”
The Crawfords also raced He Shall Power’s mother Shall She Rock, a more than handy stayer in her own right, while his sire is all-distance dynamo Dundee Osprey, runner-up to the great Fanta Bale in the 2017 Sandown Cup.
“Shall She Rock was a bit unlucky because she was in the same era as Sweet It Is and another good stayer called Lady Toy but she was probably in the top five,” Crawford explained.
“If she was around a year later it could have been a different story but she still won about $145,000 without winning a decent race.
“He Shall Power’s brother, He Shall Blitz, was going to be in at Sandown tonight (Thursday) but he hurt his hock and will need three weeks off.
“I’m sure he’ll get 600m and over 600m he would have two-three lengths on He Shall Power but you never know about 700 until you try them.”