He Shall Power can confirm his arrival as the next big thing in the staying ranks with a breakthrough feature victory in Saturday night’s Group 3 The Fireball (725m) at The Meadows.
In a wide-open betting affair, He Shall Power is TAB’s joint $4 favourite with Here’s Tears, with Sunset Bourbski at $4.20 and Sir Truculent $4.50.
Trained by Pearcedale-based husband and wife owner/breeders David and Shona Crawford, He Shall Power burst onto the staying scene in May when he finished an unlucky third to Bronski Beat in the Group 1 Sandown Cup.
“He’s run a place in his last 13 starts,” said David Crawford.
“He’s only young so he might end up being one of the best stayers going around. At the moment I’d say he’s in the top half-dozen.
“Brendan Pursell is a pretty good friend of mine and it was great to see him win the Sandown Cup but every time we’ve raced against Bronski Beat since then we’ve finished in front of him.”
He Shall Power started $2.70 favourite in the first of two Fireball heats held last Saturday but wasn’t able to reel in Andrea Dailly’s upset winner Sunset Bourbski ($15.90), which clocked a best of night 42.69s.
“If they hadn’t run a fast time I would’ve said he was disappointing,” Crawford said.
“When he moved into fourth at the winning post the first time I thought he’d take a power of beating but the dog that beat him (Sunset Bourbski) is a very fast dog when it gets out in front.
“It was that windy and cold and the stayers ran into a headwind twice, which made it even tougher.
“He ran the second fastest time in the heats and I thought it was easily the strongest heat. The pink (Here’s Tears) was well-graded and well-boxed in the other heat.”
The second heat went to $2.20 favourite Here’s Tears in 43.20s, which will be striving to complete a remarkable family hat-trick with his illustrious brother Tornado Tears having won the last two editions of the Fireball.
“He Shall Power has got to be a winning chance if the breaks go his way,” said Crawford.
“His downside is that he doesn’t have a lot of pace for the first 200m and the trouble is that you’re giving good dogs four or five lengths start but he doesn’t give up and he keeps coming.
“I’d say Sunset Bourbski is the one to beat again this week.
“I think He Shall Power is knocking on the door of winning a Group race and I’ll be rapt if he can do it.”