Melbourne racegoers will miss the chance of seeing star three year old Pierro race with Gai Waterhouse deciding to concentrate on a Sydney Autumn Carnivalcampaign.
Last season’s champion two year old Pierro had been nominated for the Group 1 $750,000 Australian Guineas (1600m) at Flemington on March 2 for the three year olds and the Group 1 $1m Lexus Newmarket Handicap (1200m) at Flemington the following week.
Pierro trialled brilliantly last week at Rosehill and Waterhouse will give the Lonhro colt another solid hit-out in a 1200m barrier trial at Warwick Farm on Friday to prepare him for his Autumn debut in the Group 2 $200,000 Hobartville Stakes (1400m) at Rosehill on March 2.
“I will trial him again on Friday to get him fully fit and he will be right to start off in the Hobartville,” Waterhouse said.
Waterhouse had been toying with the idea of returning to Melbourne to start the Autumn but owner Greg Kolivos convinced the great trainer to keep his three year old in Sydney.
“Greg and I talked long and hard over the weekend 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.
A rematch with Caulfield Guineas victor All Too Hard in Melbourne is now off the agenda but the two star colts could clash again in Sydney with both being nominated for the Group 1 $2m BMW Doncaster Mile (1600m) at Randwick on April 20.
Pierro is undefeated in Sydney from seven starts which includes the two year old Triple Crown of the Golden Slipper, Sires Produce Stakes and the Champagne Stakes during last year’s Sydney Autumn Carnival.
Pierro had two victories over All Too Hard in Sydney, once in the Autumn as two year olds in the Group 1 $500,000 Inglis Sires Produce Stakes (1400m) at Randwick on April 14 as well as a win in the early part of the Spring in the Group 3 $125,000 The Run To The Rose (1200m) at Rosehill on September 1.
But All Too Hard had the better of Pierro in Melbourne in the Spring, relegating him to second for the first time in the Group 1 $1m BECK Caulfield Guineas (1600m) at Caulfield on October 13 and then beat him home in the Group 1 $3m Sportingbet Cox Plate (2040m) at Moonee Valley on October 27 when the two colts ran second and third to Ocean Park.
Waterhouse’s stable rider Nash Rawiller has been on the sidelines since mid December because of a broken ankle but is due to resume riding next week at Wyong and will be fully fit to partner his favourite three year old in the Hobartville Stakes on March 2.
While he has been on the sideline Rawiller has kept a close eye on the progress of Pierro as well as Waterhouse’s multiple Group 1 winning mare More Joyous, who is also due to return for the Autumn, and has been happy with what he has seen.
“I couldn’t be happier with them,” Rawiller said.
“They are both doing really well around the stables and look terrific.
“They’ve come through their trials in good order and it should be really good times ahead.”