Glamour colt Pierro appears almost unbeatable in the Group 1 George Ryder Stakes (1500m) at Rosehill on Saturday as he continues his mission towards the $2 million Doncaster Mile on April 20.
Last season’s champion two-year-old silenced any doubters he had left last month when punishing the older horses, including star stablemate More Joyous, in the Group 1 Canterbury Stakes.
The three-year-old is a $1.60 betting chance and looks poised to further assert his star status this weekend, with multiple Group 1 winner Shoot Out and Gary Portelli’s colt Rebel Dane considered the best upset chances at $8.
Trainer Gai Waterhouse has never hidden her admiration for the four-time Group 1 winner and said he will be a “standout” in every challenge he faces this autumn.
“Still unbeaten in Sydney, Pierro will be a standout in all his Group 1 races en route to the Doncaster,” Waterhouse said in her blog
The son of Lonhro underwent his final serious piece of lead-up work on Tuesday morning, leaving both his trainer and trackwork rider Mark Newnham confident he is again ready to defeat the older brigade.
“Pierro earned his standard smiley face from Mark Newnham this morning after the colt galloped strongly over 1200m,” Waterhouse said.
Nash Rawiller returns to take the ride on Pierro after honouring a previous commitment to ride More Joyous in the Canterbury Stakes.
The winner of 10 of 12 starts has drawn barrier seven of 12 and under weight-for-age conditions will carry 56.5kg, 2.5kg less than all runners except fellow three-year-old Rebel Dane.
Predicted rain at Rosehill is not expected to worry Pierro who showed his versatility when toughing out a win in heavy conditions in the Group 2 Hobartville Stakes to begin his autumn campaign.