Gai Waterhouse’s crack Lonhro colt Pierro has retained their undefeated status and become the sixth juvenile in history, and the first colt in 21 years, to score the autumn two-year-olds’ triple crown with a beautiful win in the Champagne Stakes 2012 at today’s Sydney Cup Day meeting at Royal Randwick.
Leading up to the $500,000 Group 1 Champagne Stakes (1600m), which was Pierro’s first attempt at the mile, the talented youngster won all five of their opening career starts including the coveted Golden Slipper – Inglis Sires Produce Stakes double.
The champion two-year-old was well supported for today’s showdown as well Pierro having been backed late in from $1.35 to $1.24 at our preferred online bookie bookmaker.com.au.
Their Champagne Stakes success saw Waterhouse complete the grand slam for the second time over her illustrious career to date following the triple crown victory of her former star two-year-old Dance Hero back in 2004.
“Outstanding,” was all Waterhouse’s favourite word to describe Pierro after the win.
“Very privileged to see a horse as good as this.
“They don’t do it (colts) and I’ve trained plenty of good two-year-olds and they don’t do it the colts, they don’t win the triple crown.”
The victory came just one event after Waterhouse and Rawiller combined with Fat Al to win the $125,000 Group 3 Frank Packer Plate (2000m), and was Waterhouse’s sixth Group 1 success of the autumn.
She will attempt to add to that record with staying mares Older Than Time and Once Were Wild racing in the Sydney Cup, and her star Doncaster Mile champion More Joyous in the Queen Elizabeth in races six and seven this afternoon.
Pierro will now be sent out for a well-earned rest, today’s Champagne Stakes success boosting their total career earnings as a two-year-old to over $2.9 million in prize money; not bad for a $230,000 2011 Magic Millions Gold Coast Yearling purchase.
The fellow Waterhouse-trained Raceway hit the lead in the Champagne Stakes early today with Pierro settling down just off their stableamate.
Peter Snowden’s race roughie Tatra made a move to challenge for the lead mid-way through moving into second at the first corner.
At the 800-metres Tatra kicked away and led from Pierro, the two fighting it out.
But Pierro was too good for them and pinned his ears down to join an elite group of Sydney autumn triple crown winners.
On the line Pierro, who won in a time of 1:35.03, had two and three quarters of a length to spare over the Clarry Conners-trained filly Dear Demi who came up strongly down the outside to snare second spot while Tatra was two and a quarter lengths further for third.
Rawiller knew he was on the best horse and put himself straight in the box seat, the jockey never concerned Pierro wouldn’t get the job done.
“He’s just been a phenomenal ride,” Rawiller said.
“He was arrogant today.
“Just such a magnificent horse.
“There was never a worry in the world, he was just too good.
“He’s just continued to raise the bar so to speak and it’s basically been more than my dreams could have imagined.”
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2012 Champagne Stakes Results & Finishing Order
Royal Randwick Race 3 – 28/04/2012
|1||1||PIERRO||Gai Waterhouse||Nash Rawiller||–||6||56.5kg||$1.22F|
|2||9||DEAR DEMI||Clarry Conners||James McDonald||2.8L||9||54.5kg||$19|
|3||4||TATRA||Peter Snowden||Tommy Berry||5.1L||7||56.5kg||$151|
|4||8||FLYING SNITZEL||Gerald Ryan||Glyn Schofield||6.7L||1||54.5kg||$17|
|5||6||ROWIE||Paul Messara||Christian Reith||6.9L||4||56.5kg||$101|
|6||3||LIMES||Peter Snowden||Kerrin McEvoy||7.7L||5||56.5kg||$20|
|7||7||STRENGTH||John P Thompson||Michael Rodd||10.2L||2||56.5kg||$81|
|8||5||TROPHIES||John P Thompson||Jim Cassidy||11L||8||56.5kg||$151|
|9||2||RACEWAY||Gai Waterhouse||Hugh Bowman||25.3L||3||56.5kg||$15|