The Gai Waterhouse trained Pierro showed all the fighting qualities needed to win a Golden Slipper when he fought back to win the Group 2 $300,000 Spotless Todman Slipper Trial (1200m) at Rosehill today.
Winning jockey Nash Rawiller had the $2.05 favourite travelling sweetly behind the leaders Amorino and Red Excitement coming to the home turn and eased out into the clear at the top of the straight.
But as soon as Pierro strolled past Amorino at the 300m, Epaulette appeared on the outside and under hard riding from Kerrin McEvoy got a neck in front.
Pierro responded to the Rawiller’s urgings and fought back to get a nose decision over Epaulette in a head bobbing finish with Shelford running home strongly for a good third.
“He’s a ripper, isn’t he,” Rawiller said.
“Kerrin got him pretty quickly and put a long neck on him and caught my bloke a little bit by surprise. I knew he was coming but I don’t think he quite knew and it wasn’t really until he caught sight of him with blinkers on then he got ready for a bit of a dog fight. He just wanted to win, it was a terrific effort.”
“Couldn’t be happier going into the Slipper, he’ right on track.”
Rawiller is riding in outstanding form winning yesterday’s Albury Cup on Extra Zero then rolling Hay List on the John O’Shea trained Foxwedge in the Group 1 $400,000 Power Tracker William Reid Stakes (1200m) at Moonee Valley last night.
Pierro was $6.50 second favourite in Golden Slipper betting behind Victorian filly Samaready before today and is certain to tightened up slightly after that tough win.
Waterhouse was her super confident self, declaring that Pierro was now ready for the Group 1 $3.5m AAMI Golden Slipper (1200m) at Rosehill in a fortnight.
“He’s a very tough horse. He is really everything you look for in a two year old,” Waterhouse said.
“He can take a sit as he did today and then he can pick up the bit. He was beaten twice in the straight and he said just get of my way.”
Waterhouse said that Pierro is ready for the Slipper and condition wise there was not more she could do and declared that “the Slipper fits.”