Racing: Pierro red hot for Guineas

Sydneysider stuns Flemington track watchers with brilliant workout for feature.

Photo / Thinkstock
Photo / Thinkstock

Pierro, Sydney's unbeaten super colt, showed why he is hot favourite for Saturday's A$1 million Caulfield Guineas with a stunning track gallop on the Flemington course proper yesterday.

As trainer Gai Waterhouse watched through binoculars from the grandstand, Pierro, galloping solo and wearing blinkers, moved off leisurely from the 1400m but accelerated from the 800m.

His sectional times were incredible: final 600m in 33.88sec, 400m in 21.35sec and last 200m in 10.38sec.

"Amazing, this colt is just amazing," Waterhouse told the Herald Sun. "You won't see a better track gallop.

"I've got to work him on his own these days because he just breaks the hearts of his galloping companions."

Flemington track clocker Warren Huntley said Pierro's workout was one of the most impressive he had seen in years.

"He was flying, they don't go much faster than that," Huntley said.

"He's tightened up a little since his Moonee Valley win and he is right on song for the Caulfield Guineas."

Just moments later, Waterhouse's other champion, More Joyous, tuned up for the Group 1 A$400,000 Toorak Handicap on Saturday with a strong solo gallop on the course proper.

More Joyous wasn't out to make time but still came home her final 200m in 11.75sec and she looked to be going half pace.

"That's More Joyous, she does everything so effortlessly and runs those sort of times every gallop," said Waterhouse.

Pierro's Caulfield Guineas rivals Epaulette and All Too Hard also had strong workouts at Flemington, but their trainers decided against accepting the offer to work on the course proper.

Instead, Peter Snowden, trainer of Epaulette, and John Hawkes, with All Too Hard, kept to their normal routines, working their star colts on the inside grass.

Caulfield Guineas, 1600m.- Pierro (7) N Rawiller, Epaulette (6) K McEvoy, All Too Hard (3) D Dunn, Ashokan (8) J B McDonald, Road Trippin (5) B Melham, Carringbush Jack (4) J Noonan, Awesome Bro (2) Craig Williams, Let Go Lenni (1) C Newitt 56.5kg.

•Meanwhile, Waterhouse will strongly recommend to owner John Singleton that More Joyous should certainly run in Saturday's Toorak, despite being lumped with 60kg.

No mare has successfully carried more than 59.5kg in a major group one handicap since Dual Choice won the Oakleigh Plate in 1972 but Waterhouse feels More Joyous needs the solid hitout to be ready for her anticipated clash with stablemate Pierro in the Cox Plate a fortnight later.

"I wouldn't let it stop her racing. I'd certainly be running her in the Toorak with that weight," Waterhouse told the Herald Sun.

"She is the best horse in the race by a long way, she is not badly weighted in my opinion.

"She has got to roll the sleeves up at some stage and this is the perfect race to roll them up in."

Duncan Grimley, John Singleton's racing manager, was not so bullish when he learned of the handicapper's assessment and said all options would be weighed up before acceptances are taken today.

"I noticed today that for some reason she has gone up from 125 to 127 in the handicapper's ratings, even though she only won a listed and a group three race this preparation," he said yesterday.

"To me it looks like they have done that to make sure their handicapping template is followed so she carries 60kg.

"King Mufhasa has won two group ones but hasn't gone up a point.

"My gut feeling is she is a group one horse and must run in group one races but I still want to sit down and look at the race and the comparisons.

"We have got a back-up in that she can run in the mares' race the following Wednesday, we will enter for both and just see what we go with."

King Mufhasa, who warmed up for his first Australian start this spring with a win in the Windsor Park Plate a fortnight ago, has 59.5kg, while Glass Harmonium is next at 56.5kg.

Yosei is set to back up in the Toorak after her luckless effort in the Epsom last Saturday. Glen Boss has been booked to ride at 52.5kg.

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