Waterhouse confident of Doncaster victory with Pierro

Bookmakers are expected to take on Doncaster Mile favourite Pierro but the ever confident Gai Waterhouse isn’t fazed and says the three year old will just win.


Pierro with his ears pinned back winning the George Ryder Stakes at Rosehill. Photo by Steve Hart.

“Bookmakers will foolishly gamble against him. The point is Pierro is a three-year-old against the older horses,” Waterhouse said.

“Pierro is a champion and I know he’ll win. Pierro has dogged determination. He simply finds the line”.

Waterhouse is eyeing off her eighth Doncaster and will surpass her legendary father Tommy Smith if Pierro wins the Group 1 $2m BMW Doncaster Mile (1600m) at Randwick tomorrow.

The top Randwick trainer equalled her father’s record last year when Sydney’s glamour mare More Joyous rose to the occasion to record Waterhouse’s seventh win in the famous Randwick feature Mile.

Waterhouse trained her first Doncaster winner in 1994 with Pharoah who backed up the following year to win again and continued her success with wins by Sprint By and Secret Savings the next two years.

The Queen of Sydney racing then had to wait until 2001 for Assertive Lad to salute and Grand Armee took the spoils two years later.

Even though Pierro doesn’t win by huge margins, his will to win is a major factor that has seen him win eleven times from thirteen starts, five at Group 1 level.

“On paper, over his career, punters may say that his winning margins don’t justify his short-betting quotes,” Waterhouse said.

“But his starting prices reflect his ability to do whatever it takes to be first over the line.”

“Pierro, about two furlongs out, sticks his ears back and makes sure he wins.”

A win for the Lonhro colt tomorrow will leave Waterhouse and owner Greg Kolivos the dilemma of which direction to proceed with retirement to stud one option.

“Greg Kolivos may well decide to retire him after tomorrow. A Doncaster win would be a marvellous high to retire on,” Waterhouse said.

But other options also lay ahead and Pierro could back up the following week at Randwick on the final day of the Sydney Autumn Carnival and take on rival three year old All Too Hard in the 1400m Group 1 $400,000 All Aged Stakes or step up in distance and tackle Australian Derby winner It’s A Dundeel in the 2000m Group 1 $500,000 Queen Elizabeth Stakes.

Kolovis is more than happy with the way Waterhouse has prepared his super colt and said that he is exactly where they had planned him to be at this stage of his preparation.

“His main goal has been to step into open age weight for age, get into the Doncaster in peak condition and Gai has always thought that a race on the last day of the carnival shouldn’t be ruled out,” Kolivos said.

Reports from Randwick track work are that Pierro has progressed nicely since his last start win in the in Group 1 $400,000 The Daily Telegraph George Ryder Stakes (1500m) at Rosehill two weeks ago and rounded off his Doncaster preparation on Tuesday morning with a 1200m gallop on the course proper in 1.21.6s, with splits of 36.9s for the final 600m and 11.3s for the last 200m.

Pierro dominates the betting and is a commanding $2.50 favourite ahead of Bart Cummings’ filly Norzita at $8.50 and Group 1 winning mare Appearance at $9.

Topweight Shoot Out is the best of Chris Waller’s four runners at $14 ahead of Streama and Queenslander Solzhenitsyn at $17.

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.