The clash between Sydney’s Queen Of The Turf, More Joyous and the future king Pierro is a dream promotion come true for the Australian Turf Club for the official opening day of The BMW Sydney Carnival at Rosehill tomorrow.
Sydney’s super mare More Joyous is lining up for her third win in the Group 1 $350,000 Cellarbrations Canterbury Stakes (1300m) being run at Group 1 level for the first time while Pierro is stepping up to weight for age after beating his own age first up in the Group 2 $200,000 Hobartville Stakes (1400m) at Rosehill on March 2.
Trainer Gai Waterhouse can’t pick between her two star gallopers, saying it would be like choosing between her children and will wait and see what unfolds on Saturday.
“It’s very seldom you get those very exciting clashes with the older horse that is queen of the turf here and the young horse that is the aspiring champion,” Waterhouse said.
“It is delectable, it’s delicious. I love them both dearly and they are very different horses but one thing they have in common is they are both champions.”
More Joyous is the winner of eight Group 1 races from a total of twenty-one wins while Pierro was crowned the champion two year old last year following his Group 1 Triple Crown success by taking out the $3.5m AAMI Golden Slipper (1200m), $500,000 Inglis Sires Produce Stakes (1400m) and the $400,000 Moet & Chandon Champagne Stakes (1600m).
Waterhouse is adamant that her two star gallopers will finish first and second and also knows that one set of owners will have to stand in the runner-up stall.
“Whoever runs second won’t be happy but that’s life isn’t it,” Waterhouse said.
Waterhouse said that both her charges are in top condition with Jim Cassidy picking up the ride on Pierro with the colt’s regular rider Nash Rawiller looking to combine with More Joyous in another Group 1 victory after winning on the top mare at Group 1 level on seven previous occasions.
Tomorrow’s match up in the Canterbury Stakes will be a closer encounter than when the pair did clash in the Spring in the Group 1 $3m Sportingbet Cox Plate (2040m) at Moonee Valley with Pierro running a mighty race to finish third to Ocean Park and All Too Hard while More Joyous wasn’t at her best finishing in eleventh spot after having a horrid run.
Rawiller pointed out that More Joyous runs her better races in the Autumn as was seen during last year’s Sydney Autumn Carnival when the top jockey combined with his favourite mare for four wins which included the Canterbury Stakes first up and concluded with a win in the Group 1 $500,000 Queen Elizabeth Stakes (2000m) at Randwick on April 28.
“More Joyous has had a good break, and she just always seems to do better in the autumn. I don’t know what it is. We haven’t seen the best of her in the spring, which is unfortunate, but she seems happier in the autumn,” Rawiller said.
“The other bloke is pretty bombproof, and by the time he gets to her age, who knows what he could have achieved.”
Pierro holds the early advantage in the betting and is currently the $2.40 favourite with More Joyous at $3.30.
Melbourne’s leading trainer Peter Moody is adamant it isn’t a two horse race and the market agrees and has Moment Of Change on the third line of betting at $4.40.
Moment Of Change scored his first Group 1 win in the $400,000 Clamms Seafood Sir Rupert Clarke Stakes (1400m) at Caulfield during the Spring last year and has been runner-up at his two appearances from a spell.
The four year old ran a mighty race first up when second to stablemate Black Caviar in the Group 1 $500,000 Black Caviar Lightning (1000m) at Flemington on February 16 then followed that up with a narrow second to Shamexpress in the Group 1 $1m Lexus Newmarket Handicap (1200m) at Flemington on March 9.