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Gai Waterhouse’s star colt Pierro upheld their undefeated status at Rosehill on the weekend, the $3 million earner proving their Melbourne Spring Racing Carnival potential with an easy victory in The Run To The Rose 2012.
In a race that was being spruiked as a blockbuster clash between Golden Slipper champ Pierro and the highly-rated All Too Hard, the $125,000 Group 3 The Run To The Rose (1200m) turned out to be a one horse race with Lonhro three-year-old Pierro never in doubt.
The performance settled Waterhouse’s nerves, the gun youngster dispelling the Golden Slipper winners’ historical first-up curse, Pierro sure to be as dominant as a three-year-old as they were during their juvenile season when taking out the autumn 2YO Triple Crown.
“Today was his biggest test because I had a slightly lesser time to get him ready, but thought I’m not going to start until I know I can absolutely wipe the floor with them and I was a bit nervous about it even today,” Waterhouse said on Saturday.
“He’s Australasia’s best colt by so far it’s not funny.”
The $1.55 odds-on favourite handled the 60kg topweight without issue, jockey Nash Rawiller guiding them to a smart one and a quarter length victory over the Anthony Cummings-trained Your Song ($17).
Peter Snowden’s Black Opal Stakes winner Epaulette ($8) finished off the trifecta a further length and a quarter away in third, followed by Cummings’ other runner Ninth Legion ($31) who was only a nose further away.
The $4.80 second elect All Too Hard, a half-brother to glamour mare Black Caviar, meanwhile failed to fire or live up to the hype when crossing three lengths off the winner.
Rawiller was also impressed with Pierro’s win on Saturday, the hoop tipping him for big things this spring.
“I think he’s a more professional horse than what he was last year,” Rawiller said.
“He’s come back in tremendous order and the world’s his oyster. He’s such a freakish colt.
“He took a little while early to get into his rhythm, but basically once we parked outside Ashokan it felt like game over in the run.”
The big loss by the Nathan Tinkler-owned All Too Hard saw the colt drop from their top spot in the futures odds for the $1 million Group 1 Golden Rose (1400m) back at the track on September 15, their jockey Dwayne Dunn saying that they just didn’t make the grade on the weekend but could be better over more distance.
“He is racing like a miler but he just wasn’t good enough,” Dunn said.
Updated Golden Rose odds at bookmaker.com.au are now led by their promising stablemate Nechita, winner of the Silver Shadow Stakes last time out, who pays $2.80 while All Too Hard has drifted out to the $6.50 second elect.
Odds on a number of the other Run To The Rose runners have also changed following Saturday’s clash with Epaulette now into $9 and Your Song at $11.
Fastnet Rock colt Your Song had only seen wet tracks before The Run To The Rose, jockey Peter Robl thrilled with their effort on the firmer track as they ran over their shortest-distanced race to date.
“He went outstanding and was coming into this off one soft trial,” Robl said.
“Today was all about getting him ready for the Golden Rose and he proved today that he’s up to that class and also that he’s going to be much better going into the Rose in a fortnight.”
Pierro meanwhile will bypass the Golden Rose 2012 and head straight to Victoria for the $220,000 Group 2 Bill Stutt Stakes (1600m) at Moonee Valley on September 28, Waterhouse naming Kabayan – who resumed with a close first-up second to upset winner Lady Of Harrods in the Group 3 HDF McNeil Stakes (1200m) at Caulfield on Saturday, as her Golden Rose contender.
“Pierro will go to the Bill Stutt Stakes at Moonee Valley,” she said.
“I have Kabayan, who was narrowly beaten in Melbourne for the Golden Rose.
“I wasn’t going to run them against each other today.”
Pierro’s first major assignment in Melbourne will be the $1 million Group 1 The Age Caulfield Guineas (1600m) on October 13 for which they are nearing odds-on territory in the latest markets for paying $2.05.
They are also now topping the Cox Plate odds at bookmakers around the country paying around $5 to take out the $3 million weight-for-age classic at Moonee Valley on Saturday October 27, but whether they go there to take on their ace stablemate More Joyous is still to be decided.
“The Caulfield Guineas is his target,” Waterhouse said.
“We’ll make up our minds after that whether we go to the Cox Plate.”
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2012 The Run To The Rose Results & Finishing Order
Rosehill Race 5 – 01/09/2012
|1||1||PIERRO||Gai Waterhouse||Nash Rawiller||–||4||60kg||$1.55F|
|2||5||YOUR SONG||Anthony Cummings||Peter Robl||1.3L||1||57kg||$17|
|3||4||EPAULETTE||Peter Snowden||Kerrin McEvoy||2.6L||5||57.5kg||$8|
|4||6||NINTH LEGION||Anthony Cummings||Hugh Bowman||2.7L||6||56kg||$31|
|5||2||ALL TOO HARD||Michael, Wayne & John Hawkes||Dwayne Dunn||2.9L||2||59kg||$4.80|
|6||3||ASHOKAN||John O’Shea||Glyn Schofield||3.3L||3||58kg||$31|
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