Glamour three year old colts Pierro and All Too Hard will be on equal terms if they clash in the Group 1 $2m BMW Doncaster Mile (1600m) at Randwick on April 20 after both received 56kg when weights were released today.
Pierro’s stablemate More Joyous has been allocated 59.5kg topweight, two kilos more than she carried to victory in last year’s Doncaster Mile.
The Gai Waterhouse trained Pierro returned to the racetrack with a dogged win on a heavy track in the Group 2 $200,000 Hobartville Stakes (1400m) at Rosehill on Saturday and showed all his fighting qualities in holding out Rebel Dane in a slog to the line.
While arch rival All Too Hard had to sit at home after being scratched from the Group 1 $500,000 Australian Guineas (1600m) at Flemington on race morning after recording an above normal temperature when he was a raging short priced favourite.
All Too Hard is expected to recovery quickly and be shipped north with co-trainer Wayne Hawkes saying that a Sydney Autumn Carnival program will be mapped out in the near future.
“In human terms he’s got a cold and he has had some antibiotics,” Hawkes said after the three year old was scratched from the Australian Guineas.
“All we need to do is not run him and get him right and bring him to Sydney. He will be back. He’s tough.”
All Too Hard showed that he returned from a summer spell in outstanding form winning twice at weight for age at Group 1 level in the $400,000 Sportingbet C.F. Orr Stakes (1400m) at Caulfield on February 9 and the $500,000 Cathay Pacific Futurity Stakes (1400m) at Caulfield two weeks later.
Pierro had the wood on All Too Hard when the pair meet in Sydney in the Group 1 $500,000 Inglis Sires Produce Stakes (1400m) at Randwick last Autumn and again in the Group 3 $125,000 The Run To The Rose (1200m) at Rosehill in the early part of the Spring.
But All Too Hard turned the tables in Melbourne with a win over Pierro in the Group 1 $1m BECK Caulfield Guineas (1600m) at Caulfield and then beat him home when they finished second and third to Ocean Park in the Group 1 $3m Sportingbet Cox Plate (2040m) at Moonee Valley.
Pierro’s owner Greg Kolivos and Waterhouse decided to bypass the Melbourne Autumn Carnival and keep their star colt in Sydney which meant a rematch with All Too Hard would be on home soil with the Doncaster Mile firmly on the agenda.
“I am a parochial Sydneysider and the premier autumn racing is here,” Kolivos said.
“We are definitely seriously looking at the Doncaster. The race is right on his agenda.”
Waterhouse again has a strong presence and as well as More Joyous and Piero, Tulloch Lodge has Melbourne Cup runner-up Fiorente on 56kg, imports Carlton House and Glencadam Gold on 53.5kg along with Epsom winner Fat Al and Rosehill Guineas winner Laser Hawk.
More Joyous has earned the 2 kilo rise on last year’s winning weight after winning six Stakes races, including three Group 1s since last years’ Doncaster weights were released.
Second top weight, the Peter Moody trained Manighar, has been handed 58kg on the back of his three Group 1 weight for age wins last Autumn which saw him take out the $1m Dubai Australian Cup (2000m) at Flemington, the $400,000 Ranvet Stakes (2000m) and the $2.25m The BMW (2400m) both at Rosehill.
Shoot Out from the powerful Chris Waller stable has been weighted on 57kg, 0.5kg more than he carried last year when second to More Joyous.
The New South Wales Handicapping panel assessed 188 entrants for the Doncaster Mile with first acceptances for the $2 million Handicap to be taken on March 12th.