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Sire Profiles

Sire Profile – Castelvecchio

April 18, 2023No Comments

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Record-breaking Champagne 2YO, Guineas 3YO & Cox Plate runner-up – Castelvecchio’s action-packed elite career answered every question. Add his Danehill-free pedigree and physique custom-built for early 2YO and classic 3YO racing, and he’s a perfect choice for many Australian mares.

A dynamic Inglis Millennium and Group 1-winning juvenile who trained on to an acclaimed Cox Plate performance as a Spring 3YO, followed by a Guineas triumph in the Autumn, Castelvecchio meets all the expectations of a top-drawer Australian stallion prospect.

But that’s not all. A medium-sized, superbly athletic individual, Castelvecchio has a pedigree entirely free of Danehill – making him an ideal match for many Australian mares.

Rated Timeform’s co-Champion 2YO,  Castelvecchio progressed mightily as a Spring 3YO to chase home Japanese Horse of the Year Lys Gracieux in the 2019 Cox Plate G1, earning a rating among the world’s best 3YOs of that year.

He then returned in the Autumn of 2020 to emulate his sire with a final triumph in the Rosehill Guineas G1, where he settled close to the pace, drove wide on the turn and took control 300 metres out to defeat Prince Fawaz, Reloaded & Shadow Hero.

Castelvecchio covered 248 mares in his first two seasons and his first weanlings have already sold up to $160,000.



From the second crop of the Champion racehorse and now sensational sire Dundeel, Castelvecchio is a half-brother to Group 1 winner Maid Of Heaven and Group 3 winner Mirrasalo (dam of 2021 Stan Fox S. G2 winner Mirra Vision).

Their dam is the accomplished racemare St. Therese (by Dehere), a dual stakeswinner & multiple Group performer in Australia and New Zealand, and also grand-dam of Listed winners Precious Memories & Hussy By Choice.

Significantly for Castelvecchio’s stud career, Maid Of Heaven, Mirrasalo & Precious Memories are all by Danehill-line stallions.

St. Therese, who died aged 22 in 2019, was a half-sister to outstanding sprinter-miler, Planet Ruler, a 5-time Group 1 winner during a seven-season career.

Another sibling, Moon Vision left Listed winner Andrella, also by Dehere and also, like St. Therese, a successful broodmare.

They are all descended from First Flash, a half-sister to outstanding 3YO colt Pride Of Egypt, winner of the 1954 Rosehill Guineas.



Purchased from Arrowfield’s Class of 2018 by Ottavio & Wendy Galletta, Castelvecchio soon revealed his talent to his young Sydney trainer Richard Litt. His from-the-clouds debut win over 1200m at Canterbury in January 2019 was reminiscent of his sire Dundeel’s own debut success, with the difference that it previewed an explosive 2YO campaign.

Twenty-two days later Castelvecchio’s brilliant acceleration, unleashed from the back of the field, swept him to victory in the inaugural $2 million Inglis Millennium RL, also over 1200 metres.

It was obvious from the start he was a pure athlete, and very fast with a great turn of foot. He always did everything so easily, he was extremely enthusiastic, very, very sound and never had a backward day. 
– Castelvecchio’s trainer Richard Litt

Little more than two months later, Castelvecchio claimed the Champagne S. G1 with another dominant performance, defeating subsequent Manikato S. G1 winner Loving Gaby in race record time of 1:33.31 – the fastest 1600- metre time ever posted by a 2YO at Randwick.

That victory sealed his assessment as Timeform’s co-Champion 2YO with a figure of 121.

Castelvecchio’s Spring 3YO campaign highlights were two outstanding performances at 2000 metres. First came his one-length second in Shadow Hero’s Spring Champion S. G1 , producing the fastest last 600 metres of the race, which was run in a tick over two minutes.

Castelvecchio then travelled to Melbourne where, on 26 October at Moonee Valley, he was defeated only by Japan’s Horse of the Year Lys Gracieux in the Cox Plate G1. The 1.5 length margin between them was significantly closer than any of Japan’s major stars came to the champion mare in her stunning Takarazuka Kinen G1 victory four months earlier.

This horse is absolutely top class.
– jockey Craig Williams on Castelvecchio

His Cox Plate heroics earned Castelvecchio a year-end international rating of 120, also earned by Australia’s Champion 3YO of the previous season, The Autumn Sun.

But there was one more mountain to climb and climb it he did. On the firmest ground he ran on during the 2020 Sydney Autumn Carnival, Castelvecchio displayed all of his trademark competitive zest to emulate his Champion Classic-winning sire and win the Rosehill Guineas G1.

Castelvecchio retired to stud with a record of four wins & four placings from 13 starts (eight at Group 1 level) and $2.9 million prizemoney.

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