Nash Rawiller described it as like having to choose between your kids when selecting More Joyous over Pierro as his mount in the Group 1 $350,000 Canterbury Stakes (1300m) at Rosehill on March 23.
With Rawiller sticking with More Joyous, inform veteran jockey Jim Cassidy has been snapped up by Gai Waterhouse to ride Sydney’s top three year old Pierro.
“They’re two of the best horses I’ve ever ridden. It’s like choosing between your kids, you can’t do it,” Rawiller said.
“I made a commitment to her in this race a while back whereas Pierro as been a late addition.”
Waterhouse originally intended to run Pierro in Saturday’s Group 1 $550,000 Hyland Race Colours Royal Randwick Guineas (1600m) at Warwick Farm on Saturday at his second Autumn run but changed tact and will pit the Lonhro colt up against her grand race mare More Joyous in the Canterbury Stakes.
“I just felt second-up over the mile, Pierro wasn’t quite fit enough,” Waterhouse said.
Rawiller was devastated when he was suspended for five meetings at Newcastle last Wednesday and thought he would miss the Pierro ride in the Randwick Guineas and quickly lodged an appeal.
But meanwhile Waterhouse had changed plans with her super colt, thus forcing Rawiller to choose between the two high profile Tulloch Lodge horses.
Rawiller’s appeal was subsequently dismissed meaning he will miss Warwick Farm on Saturday but will be able to resume riding from Sunday, March 17.
More Joyous is on track for her return to racing 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 includes 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.
Cassidy is riding in peak form and was back in the winners list on Saturday at Warwick Farm with a winning double including the Group 2 $175,000 Patinack Farm Surround Stakes (1400m) on Crown Oaks winner Dear Demi.
The Clarry Conners trained Dear Demi was having her second run back from a spell after finishing third to Benetta in the Group 2 $175,000 Light Fingers Stakes (1200m) at Rosehill on February 16 and is on track to securing a second Oaks victory in the Group 1 $550,000 ATC Australian Oaks (2400m) at Randwick on April 20.