Gai Waterhouse followed her Golden Slipper win at Rosehill on Saturday with victory in the $400,000 Group 1 Daily Telegraph George Ryder Stakes (1500m) with last year’s Slipper winner, Pierro.
Pierro gets past King Mufhasa (NZ), picture Sportpix.com.au
The son of Lonhro continued his unbeaten run in Sydney and entered Saturday’s event on the back of a dominant win in the group 1 Canterbury Stakes.
With regular rider Nash Rawiller back on, (Cassidy replaced Rawiller for the Canterbury Stakes win), Pierro jumped well from the barriers but Rawiller elected to ease him out of a battle for the lead and sit midfield.
With King Mufhasa (NZ) (Rodd) leading the field along, Rawiller had Pierro wide and with cover initially but stablemate Laser Hawk moved forward to sit outwide the lead, leaving Pierro without cover.
As the field rounded the turn Pierro was forced widest around the corner and was left with plenty of ground to make up on the leaders after entering the straight.
At the 300m mark Pierro was still four lengths in arrears of King Mufhasa but once Rawiller asked him to go he quickly cut into the lead. The leader kept fighting but Pierro finished too strongly and went on to score.
At the line the margin was a long neck to King Mufhasa with a further three quarters of a length to Shoot Out (Bowman). The overall time was 1.31.8 with the last 600m run in 34.99.
“Outstanding, because in trotting terms he was caught in the death, wasn’t he, and I thought oh my gosh he couldn’t be in a worse position and it was a muddling run race,” Waterhouse said.
“All of a sudden Nash said I am going nowhere and he just dropped him back half a length and gave him time to get a bit of a breather.
“I must say I rarely get goosebumps watching races, I have watched a few with top class horses but today I really got goosebumps, today was something very special.
“He is a special horse, he is a sexy horse, he is the best.”
”I wanted to keep him happy, I don’t think he really handled the slow ground and I know that is sort of hard to say but I was quite concerned a few times in the run he kept dipping and diving and I suppose most of them are,” Rawiller said.
“When you are riding a horse that is so balanced and beautiful to ride they put a foot out of place and you feel it straight away and there were a couple of concerns at stages throughout the race but I was very confident form where I was that I could win.
“(The track) held together magically well considering the rain we have had this week but everyone would say it’s a slight shame.
“If we are here on a dead track the results are probably different to days like this and it brings the good horses back to the other good horses so to speak.
“I have been saying that for some time, take nothing away from the great mare More Joyous she will go down in history as one of the best I have ever ridden but this bloke is something pretty special isn’t he.”
Pierro is out of the Daylami (IRE) mare Miss Right Note (IRE) and is owned by G Kolivos & Mrs D Kolivos. His record goes to 11 wins from 13 starts and prizemoney totalling $4,136,650.
In the last of the day, the Gerald Ryan-trained Hot Snitzel came from just off the speed with Blake Shinn on board to score a convincing win in the $125,000 Group 3 Sebring HKJC Stakes (1200m).
The win improved Hot Snitzel’s record to six wins and five minors from 19 starts.
Pierro Photofinish, by ATC
Hot Snitzel Photofinish, by ATC