Exactly 12 months after claiming his first Group 1 in the Golden Slipper, Pierro made it five at the elite level with a determined victory the George Ryder Stakes at Rosehill.
The Lonhro colt gave Darley a hat-trick of Group 1 wins on Saturday following Appearance (Commands) in the Queen of the Turf and Overreach (Exceed And Excel) in the Golden Slipper.
Pierro (3c Lonhro – Miss Right Note by Daylami) sat wide before duelling with NZ Horse of the Year (King) Mufhasa in the straight. The veteran Kiwi wouldn’t lie down but the young gun wouldn’t be denied in a battle of attrition through the heavy going at Rosehill.
Stand-in jockey Jim Cassidy put Pierro above Might and Power after partnering him to a last-start victory in the G1 Canterbury Stakes (1300m). Not to be outdone, trainer Gai Waterhouse was just as euphoric after the George Ryder. “He’s a special horse, he’s a sexy horse,” Waterhouse said. “He’s the best.”
Lonhro won the George Ryder twice and Pierro emulated champion sprinter Manikato who was the last Golden Slipper winner to double-up in the George Ryder back in 1980. His next assignment is the G1 Doncaster Handicap at Randwick on April 20 and bookmakers have shortened his Big Mile quote into the red at $1.80.
Pierro is out of an Irish-bred half-sister to French G1 winner Laverock (Octagonal). Miss Right Note has a yearling filly by Lonhro, a Street Cry filly foal and was covered by Lonhro once again in the latest breeding season.
Bred by Darley, Pierro is one of the world’s hottest sire prospects. He was originally sold through its draft at the 2010 Magic Millions National Foal Sale for $115,000 when purchased by Victorian based David Kobritz. The Musk Creek Farm breeder pin-hooked the colt for $230,000 at the 2011 Magic Millions Gold Coast yearling sale when Gai Waterhouse bought him for owners Greg and Donna Kolivos.
Darley champion Lonhro is the sire of 38 stakes winnings including G1 winners Mental, Beaded and Darley stallions Benfica and Denman. He will be represented by 20 lots at the forthcoming Inglis Easter yearling sale including a colt out of Melbourne Cup legend Makybe Diva (Lot 190).
– Karl Patterson