Sydney’s super colt Pierro starts his quest to regain the title as the best three year old in the land when he returns to the racetrack in the Group 2 $200,000 Hobartville Stakes (1400m) at Rosehill tomorrow.
Pierro’s main rival All Too Hard has claimed the crown as the country’s top three year old after winning twice at weight for age at both runs this Autumn and is poised to continue his winning form in the Group 1 $500,000 Australian Guineas (1600m) at Flemington tomorrow.
When the pair clashed as two year olds and later as three year olds, Pierro held the advantage in Sydney remaining undefeated from his first eight starts including the two year old triple crown of the Group 1 $3.5m AAMI Golden Slipper (1200m), the Group 1 $500,000 Inglis Sires Produce Stakes (1400m) and the Group 1 $400,000 Moet & Chandon Champagne Stakes (1600m).
While All Too Hard turned the tables when they faced off in Melbourne in the Group 1 $1m BECK Caulfield Guineas (1600m) at Caulfield on October 13.
Then All Too Hard showed he was the superior of the two colts in Melbourne by beating Pierro when the pair finished 2nd and 3rd to Ocean Park in the Group 1 $3m Sportingbet Cox Plate (2040m) at Moonee Valley on October 27.
The Gai Waterhouse trained Pierro is ready to return a winner with stable foreman Mark Newnham keeping a close eye on the Lonhro colt in the lead up to his Autumn debut.
Newnham is confident that Pierro will go into the Hobartville fit enough to run a strong 1400m after plenty of work and two barrier trials.
“I’ve ridden him in the majority of his gallops and his trials and I couldn’t be happier with the way he’s come back,” Newnham said.
“The race is 1400m first up and Gai wanted him to make use of the trials.”
“The worst thing you can get is one of those trials where they just canter down to the corner and sprint down the straight because no one gets any benefit out of it.”
Pierro and All Too Hard are set to clash again later in the Autumn when the Casino Prince colt travels north to Sydney after running in the Australian Guineas with the Group 1 $2m BMW Doncaster Mile (1600m) at Randwick on April 20 a possible meeting point.
Waterhouse’s other top class three year old Proisir is also ready to resume in the Hobartville but Newnham thinks he is not as advanced as his stablemate.
“He’s done enough work, whether he’s quite as sharp as the other horse yet we’ll see,” Newnham said.
“He did it all in one preparation in the Spring and you’ll probably notice the improvement he’s made physically.”
Proisir rose to prominence in one preparation going from a Hawkesbury maiden winner in August to finishing midfield in the Cox Plate after leading the field up to the home turn.
The Hobartville has pulled together a top class field of three year olds, including the unbeaten Rebel Dane who stepped up to Group 2 company to win the $175,000 Royal Sovereign Stakes (1200m) at Rosehill two weeks ago.
And Peter Moody has shipped Mulaazem up from Melbourne after leading all of the way to take out the Group 2 $220,000 Hyland Race Colours Autumn Stakes (1400m) at Caulfield on February 9.
Group 1 winner Kiwi three year old It’s A Dundeel is also resuming and Group 1 New Zealand Guineas winner Sacred Falls is certain to be improved having his second run for the Chris Waller stable.
Pierro dominates the betting at $1.85 with Rebel Dane at $4.50 and Proisir the only other runner under double figures at $5.50.