Saturday’s defeat in the Caulfield Guineas may have taken some of the shine away from star colt Pierro but it hasn’t dented the confidence of trainer Gai Waterhouse about his chances in the Cox Plate.
Waterhouse was thrilled with the performance of the previously unbeaten three-year-old and said there were no problems heading forward to his next challenge on Saturday week.
“Pierro’s second place finish in the Caulfield Guineas will go down in history as one of, if not his career best run,” Waterhouse wrote in her blog.
“Octagonal was beaten into a minor place in the 1995 Caulfield Guineas, but sure enough, two weeks later he came out and beat a great field in the Cox Plate. We expect the same from Pierro.”
Rumours surfaced earlier in the week that there may have been a problem with the son of Lonhro but the hall of fame trainer was quick to shoot them down.
“The journalist must have nothing better to do than to clutch at straws and search for some sort of crack within team Pierro. But let me tell you, they will not find one,” Waterhouse said.
With first-choice jockey Craig Williams electing to ride Green Moon in the Cox Plate, Waterhouse has appointed Corey Brown for the ride on her star colt.
Waterhouse said fellow Cox Plate contender More Joyous will benefit from a tough run in the Toorak Handicap where she finished fourth when carrying 60kg.
“Pierro and More Joyous are fine and both are steaming towards the Cox Plate. And they will be mighty hard to beat,” she said.
Pierro is $3.50 favourite to win the Cox Plate with fellow Waterhouse-trained colt Proisir an $8.50 chance and More Joyous currently paying $9.00.