New Zealander It’s A Dundeel has returned to Sydney to begin his Australian Derby campaign and will be seen against Pierro in a barrier trial at Warwick Farm on Friday.
The Murray Baker-trained colt won four races in NSW last spring including the Group One Spring Champion Stakes.
He went to Melbourne unbeaten but had his colours lowered By Super Cool in The Vase at Moonee Valley before finishing seventh as favourite in the Victoria Derby won by Fiveandahalfstar from Super Cool.
Pierro also went to Melbourne in the spring with a perfect record but found All Too Hard all too good in the Caulfield Guineas and again finished behind Black Caviar’s half brother when the pair ran the placings in Ocean Park’s Cox Plate.
All Too Hard is already up and running, adding Saturday’s CF Orr Stakes to his Group One Caulfield Guineas win, while Pierro’s autumn campaign has yet to be finalised by trainer Gai Waterhouse.
Pierro won a 1030m barrier trial with former jockey and stable track rider Mark Newnham aboard last week replacing an injured Nash Rawiller.
A broken ankle has kept Rawiller out of the saddle for some weeks but he has been back riding trackwork and expects to be at the races on Thursday week.
Friday’s 1200m trial also features 2011 Sydney Cup winner Stand To Gain and his Chris Waller-trained stablemate Gatewood.
The winner of the Geelong Cup for English trainer John Gosden, the European stayer missed a start in the Melbourne Cup when sixth in the Lexus, a Cup qualifier.
Waller is not committed to a staying campaign this autumn for Gatewood who was imported to Australia and syndicated by OTI Racing with Queensland’s Glenlogan Stud among his shareholders.
“From what I’ve seen he is in between a handicapper and a weight-for-age horse and we need to be careful where we place him because we want to get his confidence up,” Waller said.
“We will target the decent races with him and will also be mindful of preserving his value because he is still an entire.”
The Waller-trained crowd favourite Shoot Out will run in a trial on Tuesday morning ahead of his return in the Apollo Stakes on Saturday week.
Shoot Out ran second to Rain Affair in the 2012 Apollo before claiming the Group One Chipping Norton Stakes which is again a target this year.