Gai Waterhouse stills holds a stranglehold on the Cox Plate betting with Pierro and More Joyous maintaining their spots at the top of early markets for the $3m Group 1 weight for age championship over 2040m at Moonee Valley in October.
But even though More Joyous won easily at Rosehill last Saturday as expected, Sydney’s glamour mare failed to gain any ground in Cox Plate betting on stablemate Pierro.
More Joyous resumed from a spell to take out the Listed $100,000 Sharp Sheraco Stakes (1200m) and while Waterhouse has declared that the eight time Group 1 winner is as good as ever, she has eased slightly to $6.50.
“I think she’s as good as ever, I couldn’t be happier with her, I’m over the moon with her. She’s a superstar,” Waterhouse said.
Last season’s two year old champion Pierro still holds down the top spot, firming into $4.60 even though the unbeaten colt stayed in his stable on the weekend.
Pierro kicked off his Spring with a comfortable win in the Group 3 $125,000 The Run To The Rose (1200m) at Rosehill on September 1 and will have his next start in the Group 2 $220,000 City Jeep Bill Stutt Stakes (1600m) at Moonee Valley on September 28 leading up to the Caulfield Guineas and the Cox Plate.
More Joyous, who was crowned the Monjon Australia Champion Middle Distance galloper for the season, did what she had to do at Rosehill on Saturday under a weight scale that gave none of the other mares a chance.
Under the set weights and penalties conditions of the Sheraco Stakes, More Joyous, a winner of eight Group1s and over $4m in prizemoney, had to carry 59kgs, only 4kgs more than runner-up Miss Marx, the winner of three races coming off a Rosehill second in a fillies and mares Benchmark 80.
More Joyous will have one more run in Sydney in the Group 3 $250,000 Golden Pendant (1400m) at Rosehill on September 29 before heading to Melbourne with Cox Plate the ultimate goal.
“She’ll run in the Golden Pendant her in a fortnight and then go to Melbourne,” Waterhouse said.
“The Toorak and the Cox Plate are the races we’ve got lined up for her down there.”
As well as More Joyous being honoured at the Australian Racehorse of the Year Awards, the Waterhouse trained Pierro picked up the Eliza Park Champion Two-Year-Old title.
Pierro was a sure thing to take out the two year old award after claiming the Triple Crown in the Autumn winning the three Group 1s, the $3.5m AAMI Golden Slipper (1200m) at Rosehill before heading to Randwick for the $500,000 Inglis Sires Produce Stakes (1400m) and the $400,000 Moet & Chandon Champagne Stakes (1600m).
Stable jockey Nash Rawiller represented the Waterhouse stable at the awards night in Melbourne and said it was great honour to be involved with champion horses like More Joyous and Pierro.
“To be involved with champions like Pierro and More Joyous it’s just a massive honour,” Rawiller said.
“I got a huge thrill out of More Joyous winning tonight as she probably hasn’t got the recognition she deserves in Melbourne, she’s been an unbelievable mare that just keeps defying the odds.”
“Pierro’s an amazing horse, with what he’s achieved I still have to pinch myself.”
“Sometimes I still go home and watch his replays, he’s just a one-in-a-million horse that you dream of being associated with.”
Green Moon has firmed to $10 in Cox Plate betting after going down by the narrowest of margins to Happy Trails in the Group 2 $300,000 Dato’ Tan Chin Nam Stakes (1600m) at Moonee Valley last Saturday.
While the Peter Moody trained Manighar, who will run in Saturday’s Group 1 $400,000 Underwood Stakes (1800m) at Caulfield has held his spot at $8 after galloping for the first time at Moonee Valley on Saturday morning.