Gai Waterhouse’s super colt Pierro will be the headline act at Rosehill on Saturday when he makes his Autumn Carnival debut in the Group 2 $200,000 Hobartville Stakes (1400m).
Waterhouse and owner Greg Kolivos decided that Pierro would race exclusively in Sydney in the Autumn and selected the Hobartville Stakes as his springboard towards more Group 1 victories.
The Hobartville has attracted a total of seventeen nominations which includes Pierro’s stablemate Proisir, Peter Moody’s recent Group 2 Autumn Stakes winner Mulaazem and Group 1 Champion Stakes winner It’s A Dundeel.
“Greg and I talked long and hard about our options with Pierro and Greg said he would like for the colt to stay in Sydney so that is what we will do,” Waterhouse said.
“He will be right to start off in the Hobartville.”
Pierro, who hasn’t race since finishing third to Ocean Park in the Group 1 $3m Sportingbet Cox Plate (2040m) at Moonee Valley on October 27 was having his second barrier trial in preparation for his return when second over 1200m at Warwick Farm on February 15 when ridden by stable foremen Mark Newnham.
Kolivos said that Waterhouse was happy with the progress of Pierro and was pleased with the way he finished off his trial.
“I’ve spoken to Gai and to Mark and it was exactly what everyone was looking for,” Kolivos said after the Warwick Farm trial.
Kolivos said that he had consided a trip to Melbourne for the beginning of the Autumn for Pierro but in the end went for the Sydney only option.
“We did give it some thought but I am a parochial Sydneysider and the premier autumn racing is here,” Kolivos said.
“Given where he’s at, races like the Australian Guineas have come up awfully soon so it wasn’t a genuine option.”
“We are definitely seriously looking at the Doncaster. The race is right on his agenda.”
A start in the Group 1 $2m BMW Doncaster Mile (1600m) at Randwick on April 20 could see another clash with the John Hawkes trained All Too Hard who has made a tremendous start to the Autumn winning twice at weight for age at Caulfield in the Group 1 $400,000 Sportingbet C.F. Orr Stakes (1400m) on February 9 and the Group 1 $500,000 Cathay Pacific Futurity Stakes (1400m) last Saturday.
Waterhouse is anxiously awaiting a rematch with All Too Hard who inflicted the first defeat on Pierro in the Group 1 $1m BECK Caulfield Guineas (1600m) at Caulfield on October 13 and also beat him home in the Cox Plate when the colts finished second and third.
But with Pierro’s better record over All Too Hard in Sydney, Waterhouse still thinks her colt is superior, especially on his home turf.
“I still think Pierro is the better colt,” Waterhouse said.
“I’m looking forward to them clashing again in Sydney.”
Proisir is also looking to make a name for himself in the Autumn and was a two lengths Randwick barrier trial winner last Monday.
The Choisir colt impressed Waterhouse that much in the Spring that after running second to It’s A Dundeel in the Group 1 $400,000 Chandon Spring Champion Stakes (2000m) at Randwick on October 6 was shipped to Melbourne where he ran a creditable eighth to Ocean Park in the Cox Plate.