This morning Gai Waterhouse’s smart Lonhro colt Pierro raced their way back into Golden Slipper 2012 contention with an eye-catching trial win at Rosehill, home to the world’s richest two-year-olds race this Sydney Autumn Racing Carnival.
Winner of the Listed Thoroughbred Breeders Plate (1000m) on debut at Randwick back on October 1, Pierro had their first official trial since then on Tuesday morning.
Beating home all nine of their rivals over 900m in 54.12 seconds in the trial, Pierro showed Waterhouse just what she needed to keep them on the path for the $3.5 million Group 1 AAMI Golden Slipper (1200m) running on Easter Saturday, April 7.
Golden Slipper second declarations are currently being taken by the ATC, closing at 3pm (NSW time) this afternoon.
Waterhouse has so far paid up for 13 of her two-year-olds including Magic Millions Classic winner Driefontein and runner-up after losing on protest No Looking Back, unbeaten More Than Ready gelding Raceway, and Pierro.
“We have quite an exciting team,” Waterhouse boasted about her juvenile entourage this week.
One of Australia’s leading trainers, Waterhouse has already won three Golden Slippers with Ha Ha (2001), Dance Hero (2004) and Sebring (2008).
She looks to have a strong chance of making that four this year, especially after Pierro’s trial win.
Back in October after their Breeders Plate success Waterhouse was quick to express her high opinion of Pierro, declaring him then and there as the Golden Slipper winner for 2012.
“You just saw the Golden Slipper winner,” she said.
After this morning’s trial win Waterhouse hit Twitter and tweeted simply: “Pierro. Wow.”
Pierro is likely to race first-up for the autumn in the $200,000 Group 2 Silver Slipper Stakes (1100m) at Rosehill on March 3 leading up to their Golden Slipper assignment.
“He is coming along well, and the Silver Slipper is the right place for him to return,” she said.
Driefontein and No Looking Back are both set to race next-up at Warwick Farm on February 18, Driefontein in the $100,000 Listed Widden Stakes (1100m) and No Looking Back in the $100,000 Listed Canonbury Stakes (1100m).
Pierro was one of three trial winners for Waterhouse at Rosehill today, but it was second past the post in the first, Laser Hawk, who impressed her the most.
Ridden by Nash Rawiller the lightly-raced Laser Hawk finished two and a half lengths behind Golden Rose winner Manawanui over 1030m, with stablemate Once Were Wild in third.
Artie Schiller three-year-old Laser Hawk is unbeaten in two career starts to date winning over 1400m at Newcastle on debut back in September before making it two-from-two in an Inglis Bonus over the Gosford mile in October.
They are targeting the $1.5 million Group 1 Australian Derby (2400m) at Royal Randwick on April 14 this season, Waterhouse confident they are on track for that.
“Laser Hawk was terrific today at Rosehill trials,” Waterhouse said on Twitter.
“It was a super Derby trial.”
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