One of the highlights of Saturday’s Derby Day at Randwick will be the contest between the unbeaten colts Pierro and All Too Hard in the Group 1 $500,000 Inglis Sires Produce Stakes (1400m).
The Gai Waterhouse trained Pierro, with Nash Rawiller, is backing up after winning the Group 1 $3.5m AAMI Golden Slipper (1200m) at Rosehill last Saturday and is searching for his fifth win from as many starts.
While All Too Hard, trained by father and son combination of Team Hawkes, bypassed the Golden Slipper to concentrate on Saturday’s Group 1 after making it three from three in the Group 2 $175,000 Bowermans Office Furniture Pago Pago Stakes (1200m) at Rosehill on March 31.
Pierro and All Too Hard are juggling favouritism but Waterhouse is of the opinion that her colt should be the top pick in the small field of seven after proving his class with the Slipper win.
“Of course he should be favourite,” Waterhouse said.
“What’s he got to prove? Nothing.”
Waterhouse will also start Raceway in the Sires after he wasn’t disgraced in running fifth to Pierro in the Slipper and said both colts gave pulled up well.
“They have pulled up terrific. They are as happy as pigs in mud,” Waterhouse said.
“I wouldn’t be starting them if I wasn’t really happy with them.”
“I knew there would only be a small field. And I can’t see why they can’t run first and second.”
Top Sydney jockey Hugh Bowman, who is to ride Raceway, is not ready to concede defeat to All Too Hard but admits stable mate Pierro is the one to beat.
Bowman said the form around All Too Hard is not great but the Casino Prince colt has been winning in a hand canter for Dwayne Dunn who will be aboard again.
“I reckon Pierro can beat him,” Bowman said. “I am not saying he will beat him but two of the horses All Too Hard beat got beaten at Kensington on Monday.”
“I know All Too Hard has done it in a canter but he is beatable. I don’t think Pierro could win like he has because he is not that type of horse. It won’t be just a matter of turning up.”
Trainer John O’Shea will be backing up two of his three Slipper runners in Ashokan and Faustus while Shelford has been sent to the paddock.
O’Shea said the Sires will be run at a completely different tempo and the 1400m will suit his two year olds.
In form jockey Craig Williams has jumped aboard Faustus while Jim Cassidy has switched from Faustus to Ashokan.
Early Sires markets has All Too Hard favourite at $1.75 with the Golden Slipper winner Pierro at $2.40. Raceway is the next in the betting at $21.