He may be the $2.25 favourite and a superstar colt but Saturday’s Group 1 Doncaster Mile (1600m) isn’t simply a “run and win” scenario for Pierro.
The Gai Waterhouse-trained three-year-old will have to overcome history, including breaking a weight-carrying record, if he is to keep his unbeaten Sydney record intact.
With 57kg on his muscly back, Pierro will attempt to break the metric three-year-old weight-carrying record in the prestigious race, set by Tontonan (56kg) in 1974.
Pierro will also attempt to become the first horse since Tontonan to follow up a Golden Slipper win as a two-year-old with Doncaster victory the following year.
History aside, it’s tough to knock Pierro’s credentials.
After suffering the first defeats of his career when second in the Caulfield Guineas and third in the Cox Plate in the spring, the glamour colt has returned with a bang this autumn.
Extending his unbeaten Sydney streak to 10, Pierro has chalked up three strong wins on the road to his major autumn goal of the Doncaster.
The son of Lonhro toughed out a strong first-up win in heavy conditions in the Group 2 Hobartville Stakes before scoring a Group 1 weight-for-age double in the Canterbury Stakes and the George Ryder Stakes.
The George Ryder was his fifth at Group 1 level, taking his overall record to 11 from 13 and his prize pool to more than $4.1 million.
Covering plenty of ground on a deteriorating surface, Pierro left jockey Nash Rawiller in awe following the George Ryder.
“I’ve been saying it for quite some time [he’s the best I’ve ridden],” Rawiller said after the win.
“Take nothing away from the great mare More Joyous, she’ll go down in history as one of the best I’ve ridden, but this bloke’s something pretty special.”
The final Doncaster field will be named today. Current second favourite is Bart Cummings-trained filly Norzita ($7).