Sydney’s first lady of racing Gai Waterhouse saddled up her fourth Golden Slipper winner with Pierro taking out the 1200m $3.5m Group 1 at Rosehill today.
The ever confident Waterhouse predicted back in October last year when Pierro won on debut at Randwick that he would win the country’s top two year old race and the Lonhro colt has remained unbeaten from four starts.
Waterhouse went into today’s race with five runners but Pierro was the pick of the bunch and made it back to back Group 1 wins for her and stable rider Nash Rawiller after More Joyous’ win in the $400,000 Queen Of The Turf Stakes (1500m).
Waterhouse’s previous Slipper winners were Ha Ha, ridden by Jim Cassidy, Dance Hero with Chris Munce aboard and her last winner was in 2008, Sebring for Glen Boss.
“He’s the dominant colt and I was amazed he wasn’t favourite for the slipper. It was an amazing finish. The filly shot to the front and it took his tenacity to run her down. He’s such a gutsy horse,” Waterhouse said.
The Gerlad Ryan trained Snitzerland set up a cracking pace with the blinkers on for the first time and skipped away at the 250m with Corey Brown working hard on her but was unable to hold off the finish of Pierro to her inside.
Rawiller had Pierro travelling sweetly in fifth spot on the fence after jumping from the barrier one and the run appeared to the inside of Snitzeralnd when she rolled of the fence at the top of the straight, Pierro stoked up and went through to grab a narrow but dominant victory.
Snitzerland didn’t throw the towel in and fought on tenaciously while favourite Samaready had to make a long run from near the tail of the field to wind up in third spot.
“He made use of his gate today, he travelled beautiful in the run, probably hit a flat spot there for fifty yards. I wasn’t panicking, I knew I had plenty of horse once he gathered his gear up,” Rawiller said.
“Gai Waterhouse tipped this horse six months ago to win the Golden Slipper and I walked off shaking my head. She told me to stick with this colt all the way through, I never doubted her, never have and never will. She was right and good on her.”
Waterhouse will decide on the weekend if Pierro goes on to try to take out the two year old triple crown with the uncoming Group 1 $500,000 Inglis Sires Produce Stakes (1400m) at Randwick on April 14 and the Group 1 $400,000 Champagne Stakes (1600m) At Randwick on April 28.
Pierro started at $6.50 with Snitzerland a $26 chance and third placegetter Samaready was sent of the $2.80 favourite.