Owner Greg Kolivos knows his star colt Pierro will have to break a weight carrying record for three year olds in the Group 1 $2m BMW Doncaster Mile (1600m) at Randwick if he is to continue his magical ride to the top of the Sydney racing scene.
Kolivos was on hand to select barrier four for Pierro, ensuring the multiple Group 1 winner starts a short priced favourite on Saturday.
“Boy o boy it’s been a ride and a half,” Kolivos said.
“I’m more than happy with four. Obviously it’s a race you can win from anywhere but you take all the favours you can get.”
Pierro, last season’s two year old champion, took his undefeated Sydney run to ten with his win in the Group 1 $400,000 The Daily Telegraph George Ryder Stakes (1500m) at Rosehill on April 6 defeating King Mufhasa and Shoot Out.
That was the glamour colt’s third run back from a break after winning first up in the Group 2 $200,000 Hobartville Stakes (1400m) at Rosehill on March 2 on a heavy track followed by a win against the older horses at weight for age in the Group 1 $350,000 Cellarbrations Canterbury Stakes (1300m) at Rosehill on March 23.
“We’ve stepped the bar up each and every time this time. He’s competed against the older horses under weight for age and we’re obviously stepping the bar up again in a handicap now,” Kolivos said.
“I’ve been told there hasn’t been one that’s done it, we’ve heard all of that, who knows, if there is one that do it he might be the one.”
Last year’s Golden Slipper winner Pierro will have to carry 57kg on Saturday and if he wins will surpass the Bart Cummings trained Tontonan’s weight record of 56kg he carried to victory in 1974, following his Golden Slipper win the previous year.
Cups king Cummings’ filly Norzita will be one of the hardest to beat after coming off a win in the Group 1 $400,000 Vinery Stud Stakes (2000m) at Rosehill on April 6.
Norzita wasn’t as lucky at the barrier draw coming up with the awkward gate of seventeen but stable foreman James Cummings is relying on Craig Williams’ ability to overcome that obstacle.
“Very happy to have Craig,” Cummings said.
“He’s one of the more analytical jockeys going around and he’ll walk the track. He’ll have a good understanding where to be, but I’m tipping that from seventeen, there’s really only going to be one channel he’ll be in.”
Cummings had freshened up Norzita after the Vinery Stud Stakes win to bring her back to the 1600m of the Doncaster Mile which has proven a good tactic in the past with many noted 2000m horses winning the over tough Randwick 1600m.
“This race is historically won by a horse that can get a strong 2000m and you would have to think switching back a Group 1 winner over 2000m, that’s her.
Leading Sydney trainer Chris Waller will saddle up four runners with his top pick Shoot Out coming up with barrier ten.
Former New Zealand three year old Sacred Falls has drawn six while veteran Danleigh, gate fifteen and Red Tracer, who will jump from the outside of the twenty horse, not faring as well.
Pierro is currently the $2.10 favourite and if successful will be Gai Waterhouse’s eighth win in the prestige Randwick Mile.
Norzita is the second pick at $7.50 while the consistent Shoot Out and Appearance, a winner at her last two starts at Group 1 are at $13.