Richard Litt considers Castelvecchio the horse of a lifetime, so he is pinching himself to think he has another potential Group One star in emerging three-year-old Profondo.
Now standing at Arrowfield Stud, Castelvecchio put the young trainer on the map, winning a brace of Group 1 races and beating all but Lys Gracieux in the 2019 Cox Plate.
Just 18 months after Castelvecchio’s retirement, Litt finds himself saddling up the $3.40 favourite for Saturday’s Group 1 Spring Champion Stakes (2000m) at Randwick.
A son of Japanese star Deep Impact, Profondo is raced by Castelvecchio’s owners the Galletta family and carries the same colours as their former star.
He fetched $1.9 million as a yearling and is showing enough promise to suggest that could prove a cheap buy.
For a young trainer with a small team built largely on tried horses, Profondo is a rare gem.
“People wait a lifetime to get horses like Castelvecchio,” Litt said.
“I got one in my first three years of training and then to back it up with another horse that potentially could be better – or worse, who knows? – is very exciting.”
After making a winning debut on the Kensington track last month, Profondo dived straight into Group 3 company with an outstanding second to Head Of State in the Gloaming Stakes, costing himself victory when he ducked in over the final furlong.
It was a glimmer of inexperience but Litt is optimistic the horse will learn from it and says Profondo is spot-on for Saturday’s assignment when he will again meet his last-start conqueror.
Castelvecchio finished runner-up to Shadow Hero in the 2019 Spring Champion, but Litt dismisses any thought he has unfinished business in the race.
“No. Two different horses, different day. We don’t worry about history,” he said.
“We’re very excited about him but we take every day as it comes.
“He’s got to take another big step up on Saturday and it’s not easy. We are very realistic. So we’re excited, but we’ll wait and see.”
All options are on the table for Profondo after Saturday, including a trip to Melbourne or even a spell.
Litt believes he is still maturing and the best of him won’t be seen until the autumn.
“The world’s his oyster. He’s very young,” Litt said.
“He’s still putting it all together and basically this prep is purely educational. We look forward to Queen Elizabeths and Rosehill Guineas in the future. That’s what I’m hoping.”