James McDonald will be hoping for a quick return...
Boom colt Pierro is set to resume racing in Sydney this weekend but the chances of them contesting the Golden Rose 2012 next month are growing slimmer by the day according to trainer Gai Waterhouse who has her eyes on the Melbourne Spring Racing Carnival riches for the triple Group 1 winner.
Waterhouse continues to be impressed by how the son of Lonhro progresses as they head towards their three-year-old debut, Pierro last seen completing the autumn 2YO’s triple crown with wins in the Golden Slipper – Inglis Sires Produce Stakes and Champagne Stakes in Sydney during April.
They had a gallop over 1000m at Warwick Farm on Saturday which they won over Western Symbol, Waterhouse wishing the work out had been over a little more distance.
“I’m happy with him but I would have liked the gallop to be a bit longer,” she said.
Undefeated in six starts to date, which has already earned connections over $2.9 million in prize money, Pierro was the dominant favourite in the futures markets for the season’s opening elite level – the $1 million Group 1 Golden Rose Stakes (1400m) at Rosehill Racecourse on September 15.
Many online bookmakers however have now officially withdrawn Pierro from the Golden Rose betting markets with the young gun likely to have just the one start in New South Wales before heading to Victoria.
The $1 million Group 1 The Age Caulfield Guineas (1600m) at Caulfield Racecourse on October 13 and the famed $3 million Group 1 Tatts Cox Plate (2040m) were named as the big spring targets for Pierro a number of weeks ago.
Current Caulfield Guineas odds at bookmaker.com.au have Pierro as the firm $2.80 top elect while in Cox Plate betting they are the $7.50 second favourite behind their glamour stablemate More Joyous ($7).
Pierro will kick off their Caulfield Guineas – Cox Plate campaign this Saturday with Waterhouse having nominated him for the $125,000 Group 3 The Run to the Roses (1200m).
Following The Run To The Roses Waterhouse is likely to send Pierro straight to Melbourne for a second-up start in the $220,000 Group 2 Bill Stutt Stakes (1600m) on September 28 where they will get their first look at Moonee Valley Racecourse where the 2012 Cox Plate is held on October 27.
“At the moment the plan is the Run To The Rose next week and then the Stutt Stakes at the night meeting at Moonee Valley,” Waterhouse confirmed.
“That way if he gets to the Cox Plate he will have had a feel of Moonee Valley.
“It’s also a nice step up for him into the Caulfield Guineas.”
Waterhouse however refuses to rule out the Golden Rose 100 percent even with the bookies withdrawing Pierro from the markets.
“I’m leaning to heading to Melbourne but we will just have to wait and see,” Waterhouse said.
“I’m not completely saying no on the Golden Rose.
“My focus is on the Caulfield Guineas and then the Cox Plate. They are the two races I want to get him ready for.”
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