Gai Waterhouse trained Pierro has been too strong to hold of late challenges from Hidden Warrior and Rusambo to win today’s second to year old race.
Gai Waterhouse declared the public had just seen next year’s Golden Slipper winner after Pierro raced to a fighting win in Saturday’s Listed Breeders Plate at Randwick.
“You just saw the Golden Slipper winner,” Waterhouse said.
“This horse was such a babe after the Canterbury barrier trials and I put the blinkers on him and did a few little things with him and it’s just switched him on unbelievably.”
Pierro ($5), with Waterhouse’s stable jockey Nash Rawiller in the saddle, settled just behind the leaders in the 1000m juvenile dash before going after Hidden Warrior ($5) in the straight.
The colt by Lonhro wore down the Paul Perry-trained Hidden Warrior to score by a head with the Peter Snowden-trained Rusambo ($21) another 1-1/4 lengths away third.
Waterhouse said Pierro, who was a Magic Millions purchase, would head for a spell and return for the big two-year-old riches later in the season.
“The improvement since his trial would be six lengths, and if he can improve that much in 12 days, what can he do in another six months?” Waterhouse said.
“I’ll turn him out now and just look out for him in the autumn.”
Waterhouse has won three Golden Slippers with Sebring doing the Breeders Plate-Slipper double in the 2007/08 season.
However, Sebring’s Breeders Plate win was run in February following the equine influenza outbreak.
Pierro was Waterhouse’s fourth success in the Breeders Plate.
Rawiller said Pierro was a horse he had plenty of time for.
“Had you asked me three weeks ago I would have said he can’t win but full credit to Gai and the staff, they got his mind on the job,” Rawiller said.
Hidden Warrior just failed to emulate his half-sister Defiant Dame who took out the Listed Gimcrack Stakes (1000m) for two-year-old fillies on the same day last year.
“I was pleased with that, it looks good for his future,” Perry said of Hidden Warrior.
“The Magic Millions is his aim and I’ll probably give him a break now.”
Hidden Warrior’s jockey Christian Reith also believes the gelding will improve significantly from the experience, saying he was green in his first trip away from home.
The David Hayes-trained Wazeer was scratched at the barriers as he was unable to be loaded.