The Gai Waterhouse stable is chasing the services of top Melbourne jockey Craig Williams for Cox Plate lightweight chance Pierro.


The Cox Plate ride on Pierro (pictured) could go to Craig Williams. Photo by: Steve Hart

The two year old Triple Crown winner will only have 49.5kg in the Group 1 $3m Sportingbet Cox Plate (2040m) at Moonee Valley on October 27 and Waterhouse has moved quickly to secure a top class jockey who is capable of ridding at the weight.

“We’re hoping to get Craig Williams,” Waterhouse said.

Stable rider Nash Rawiller will be on board Waterhouse’s other Cox Plate hopeful More Joyous but the top Sydney jockey would be unable to get close to the 49.5kg.

Pierro is back in work at Tulloch Lodge and Waterhouse has opted to gallop the colt in between races at Rosehill on Saturday in preference to a barrier trial yesterday morning.

“I will give him an exhibition gallop on Saturday. I may then trial him next week or give him a couple of exhibition gallops and then go straight into the Run To The Rose,” Waterhouse said.

“He’s sensational. He’s the best three-year-old in Australia by so far it’s not funny.”

Williams has travelled all around the globe since winning last year’s Cox Plate on Pinker Pinker which followed his Caulfield Cup victory on Southern Speed and is one of the best in the buisness.

Pierro will kick off his Spring preparation in Sydney before heading to Melbourne where Waterhouse has earmarked the Group 1 $1m Caulfield Guineas (1600m) at Caulfield on October 13 and Cox Plate as his main targets.

“I want to take him to the Guineas and I want to take him to the Cox Plate,” Waterhouse said.

“They are the two aims.”

The Group 3 $125,000 The Run To The Rose (1200m) at Rosehill on September 1 is likely to be the Lonhro colts Spring debut then followed two weeks later by the Group 1 $1m De Bortoli Wines Golden Rose (1400m) at Rosehill before heading south.

Waterhouse’s other big gun for the Melbourne Spring Carnival, More Joyous, pleased connections with a Randwick barrier trial win yesterday.

Rawiller is looking forward to More Joyous picking up where she left off in the Autumn when she took all before her and was excited with the way mare performed in her trial.

“I think it’s the best she has trialled first time out for as long as I can remember,” Rawiller said.

“I’m absolutely delighted.”

More Joyous went through the Autumn undefeated and rounded off her dominance with a win in the Group 1 $500,000 Queen Elizabeth Stakes (2000m) at Randwick on April 28.

The More Than Ready mare proved unbeatable last campaign with Group 1 wins in the $400,000 Inglis Queen Of The Turf Stakes (1500m) at Rosehill on April 7 and the $2m BMW Doncaster Mile (1600m) at Randwick on April 21.

About The Author

Mark Mazzaglia

Mark is a passionate journalist with a life-time involvement in the racing industry. He spent many years as an analyst and form expert at the Courier Mail and also has hands-on experience working with some of Queensland’s top trainers.