Australian racing’s latest superstar Pierro has shortened into Black Caviar-esque odds for this Saturday’s 2012 Caulfield Guineas despite drawing wide with gate seven of eight.
The undefeated Lonhro colt, already a triple Group 1 winner thanks to their clean sweep in the autumn 2YO triple crown in April, shoots for their ninth straight career success and their fourth elite level victory when they take on seven rivals in the $1 million Group 1 BECKS Caulfield Guineas (1600m).
Owner Greg Kolivos is all smiles ahead of Pierro’s Caulfield debut on Saturday having watched his ace investment rip up the course proper in a scintillating 1200m gallop, the final 400m of which was completed in a tidy 21.35s, on the course proper at Flemington this morning.
“I came down late last night, it was a last-minute decision to come down, and I’m thrilled I did,” Kolivos said.
“It was really his second piece of work over the last couple of weeks since (winning the Group 2 Bill Stutt Stakes at) Moonee Valley and he ran some fabulous time.
“It took our breath away actually. It was terrific to watch and if he produces that on Saturday he’s going to be very hard to beat.”
And in regards to the gate, Kolivos was convinced in a small field over a mile barrier seven would present no problems for Pierro and jockey Nash Rawiller.
“It’s a smallish field and tactics do play a part in this sort of race,” Kolivos said.
“It’s still a race that every trainer and jockey out there is trying to win, as obviously we are (but) seven sounds perfect.”
The bookies agree with Pierro odds-on at $1.24 and firming in the Caulfield Guineas odds at bookmaker.com.au despite the fact that only one Caulfield Guineas winner has jumped from barrier seven in the past 20 years with Helenus (2002).
In a nice formline on that however Helenus, like Pierro, also came into the Guineas on the back of a Bill Stutt Stakes win.
The only other horse under $10 in the Caulfield Guineas odds is then the Peter Snowden-trained Golden Rose winner Epaulette in gate six paying $8.
Commands colt Epaulette backed up from their Golden Rose victory with a tight win in the Group 3 Caulfield Guineas Prelude (1400m) and on Saturday it will be their fourth fight with Pierro having been beaten by them on three previous occasions their closest finish of which was a short half head second in the Group 2 Todman Stakes (1200m) at Rosehill back in March.
While Snowden acknowledges that the task ahead is tough for Epaulette on the weekend, he is keeping his chin up.
“He’s such a versatile colt,” Snowden said.
“He’s won from the front, he’s won from the box seat and he’s won settling back in the field.
“We’ll be out there trying as much as anyone else will be and it’s going to be an intriguing race.”
Two horses then occupy the third line of Caulfield Guineas betting with All Too Hard (barrier three) and Awesome Bro (barrier two) both paying $15.
The Hawkes-trained half-brother of Black Caviar All Too Hard, to be ridden by Dwayne Dunn, was last seen running fourth to Shoot Out in the Group 1 George Main Stakes (1600m) while Craig Williams’ mount Awesome Bro comes off a close third in the Guineas Prelude.
Mick Price’s lightly-raced Startum colt Let Go Lenni, runner-up in the Prelude at just their third start, is then paying $21 to score an upset Caulfield Guineas result from the inside alley.
The Gerald Ryan-trained More Than Ready colt Ashokan follows closely at a quote of $26 having run third and fourth behind Epaulette in the Golden Rose and Guineas prelude respectively.
Stephen Theodore’s distant Bill Stutt Stakes fourth placegetter Road Trippin and Awesome Bro’s Carringbush Jack who was five lengths away second in the Bill Stutt are then the $101 roughies of the race.
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2012 Caulfield Guineas Odds
Caulfield Race 7 – 4:10pm (AEST) – 13/10/2012
|3||ALL TOO HARD (3)||15.00|
|5||ROAD TRIPPPIN (5)||101.00|
|6||CARRINGBUSH JACK (4)||101.00|
|7||AWESOME BRO (2)||15.00|
|8||LET GO LENNI (1)||21.00|
*Fixed Win odds provided by bookmaker.com.au and subject to change