Star three year old Pierro will have the blinkers back on when he takes on his illustrious stablemate More Joyous in the Group 1 $350,000 Canterbury Stakes (1300m) at Rosehill on Saturday.
Pierro scored a narrow first up win over Rebel Dane without the blinkers in the Group 2 $200,000 Hobartville Stakes (1400m) at Rosehill on March 2 and Gai Waterhouse feels that the super colt needs the head gear back on dropping back 100m in distance second up.
The Lonhro colt is no stranger to wearing the blinkers and carried them when he took out the Group 1 two year old Triple Crown last Autumn in winning the the $3.5m AAMI Golden Slipper (1200m), the $500,000 Inglis Sires Produce Stakes (1400m) and the $400,000 Moet & Chandon Champagne Stakes (1600m).
Jim Cassidy will be having his first ride on Pierro on Saturday in the Canterbury Stakes after regular ride Nash Rawiller took the mount on his other favourite galloper, multiple Group 1 winner More Joyous.
Waterhouse had always planned to run More Joyous first up in the Canterbury Stakes with Rawiller to ride but a change of plans for Pierro will now see Tulloch Lodge’s two super stars clashing in the weight for age race.
“More Joyous has been set for this race, she’s won this race before and is bombproof first-up,” Waterhouse said.
It was thought that Pierro would follow a traditional three year old path during the Autumn but owner Greg Kolivos opted to take on the older horses on his way to the Group 1 $2m BMW Doncaster Mile (1600m) at Randwick on April 20 for which he is the $4.50 favourite.
“After Pierro won first-up, I spoke with Greg Kolivos to discuss if we’d run in the Randwick Guineas at Warwick Farm, and he wasn’t mad about going there,” Waterhouse said.
Nominations for the Canterbury Stakes have been extend until eleven am on March 19 after only eleven entries were received this morning.
The original nominations included Peter Moody’s Group 1 winners Moment Of Change and Mid Summer Music and import Voila Ici, Robert Heathcote’s Group 1 Toorak Handicap winner Solzhenitsyn and Group 1 Emirates Stakes winner Happy Trails.