Gai Waterhouse’s decision not to run Pierro this Saturday in the Group 1 $550,000 Hyland Race Colours Royal Randwick Guineas (1600m) at Warwick Farm has opened up a whole new dilemma for jockey Nash Rawiller.
Rawiller pleaded guilty to a careless riding charge at Newcastle last Wednesday and was suspended for five meetings which enabled him to resume riding on Sunday, a day after star three year old Pierro was due to race in the Randwick Guineas.
The top Sydney jockey succeeded in having an appeal against the severity of the charge heard today in the hope that he would be free to ride on Saturday.
With Waterhouse’s decision not to run her classy colt over 1600m second this week, Pierro will now start next week in the Group 1 $350,000 Canterbury Stakes (1300m) at Rosehill on March 23 possibly clashing with high profile stablemate More Joyous.
Rawiller is the regular rider for both Waterhouse’s top class performers and will be faced with the possibility of having to choose between the two multiple Group 1 winners.
Pierro produced a gutsy first up effort to score a narrow win with Rawiller in the Group 2 $200,000 Hobartville Stakes (1400m) at Rosehill on March 2 and Waterhouse thought that he wasn’t ready for another tough run stepping up to 1600m so soon.
“I just felt second-up over the mile, Pierro wasn’t quite fit enough,” Waterhouse said.
Rawiller is still keen to fight his suspension even with the knowledge that Pierro won’t be going around this weekend, not wanting to miss one of the big Autumn Carnival race days.
“I think I have a good case, and I still would have contested it. Nobody likes missing out on the big days,” Rawiller said.
More Joyous is on track to return to the race track with an eye catching gallop in between races at Warwick Farm on Saturday with Rawiller aboard.
“I haven’t had a gallop like that in 12 months,” Rawiller said.
Sydney’s number one race mare More Joyous has not started since finishing down the track behind Ocean Park in the Group 1 $3m Sportingbet Cox Plate (2040m) at Moonee Valley on October 27.
More Joyous, the winner of eight Group 1 races, is unbeaten at her last six Sydney starts which includ three Group 1 victories last Autumn, the $400,000 Inglis Queen Of The Turf Stakes (1500m) at Rosehill, the $2m BMW Doncaster Mile (1600m) and the $500,000 Queen Elizabeth Stakes (2000m) at Randwick.
More Joyous is attempting to win her third Canterbury Stakes in succession this year with the weight for age race being elevated to Group 1 status for the first time this year.