Waterhouse Says Slipper Fits Pierro

Champion trainer Gai Waterhouse declared “the Slipper fits” after her unbeaten colt Pierro scored a brilliant win in today’s Group Two Todman Stakes (1200m) at Rosehill.

Sent out the hot favourite after two stakes wins from as many outings, Pierro had to pull out plenty after being headed for a few strides by the Black Opal Stakes winner Epaulette.

Waterhouse has won three Slippers and Pierro looks an undeniable change of being her fourth in a fortnight’s time.

The colt has done nothing wrong – winning the listed Breeders Plate in October before resuming with an impressive win in the Silver Slipper Stakes.

“He is a very tough horse,” Waterhouse said of Pierro. “He is really everything you look for in a two-year-old.”

“He can coast, he can take a sit as he did today, and he can pick up the bit and today he said blast you, get out of my way!”

“He is there, there is not much more, what you see is what you get.”

Winning rider Nash Rawiller was impressed with how the colt picked up when headed near the post.

“He is a ripper, isn’t he?!”

“Kerrin was getting to me pretty quick and put a good long neck on him and caught my bloke a little but by surprise,” Rawiller added.

“I knew he was coming but I don’t think he (Pierro) quite knew.”

“It wasn’t until he caught sight of the blinkers that he got himself ready for dog fight.”

“He just wants to win. It was a terrific effort and I couldn’t be happier going into the Slipper – he’s right on track.”

A son of reigning Austraian champion sire Lonhro, Pierro was bred and sold by Darley for $115,000 at the 2010 Magic Millions National Weanling Sale.

David Kobritz and the team from Musk Creek in Victoria purchased the likely prospect and then re-sold him for $230,000 at last year’s Magic Millions Gold Coast Yearling Sale.

Waterhouse snapped up the handsome colt and as they say, the rest is history.

Marvellous Manighar wins again

Peter Moody and Luke Nolen combined for another Group 1 with Manighar.

Manighar’s Australian renaissance continued this afternoon when the adopted Victorian registered another Group 1 win in the $400,000 Ranvet Stakes at Sydney’s Rosehill.

The European import backed up his win in the Australian Cup at Flemington earlier this month when he defeated Rangirangdoo and Shoot Out in the 2000-metre event.

The victory made it back-to-back Group 1 wins for the grey gelding, who has won three of his four starts for champion Victorian trainer Peter Moody, who was thrilled to see Manighar win again after some pre-race nerves.

“I was a little bit apprehensive before the race, I thought he was too well and I told Luke to give him a good bowl to the barriers,” the Caulfield horseman said.

“I just thought he was a bit too much above himself, but he just continues to thrive. He really enjoys our conditions and he’s racing in great form.”

Manighar benefitted from a top Luke Nolen ride to register the ninth win of his 26-start career and lift his career earnings beyond $2 million.

Nolen and Manighar were worse than midfield in the early stages, but found themselves one horse back in the three-wide line at the halfway mark when Shoot Out pushed forward to sit outside leader Zavite.

Shoot Out assumed the lead on the point of the turn, but was quickly passed by Rangirangdoo and Manighar who engaged in a stirring duel. Rangirangdoo veered out over the final 250m, but it didn’t deter Manighar who got home by a half head.

But instead of ruing Rangirangdoo’s waywardness, Nolen said it might have assisted his chances.

“He gave me a good bunny to follow for a long way,” he said. “They said he was back (to his best) on his last run and he carted me to the place I needed to be.”

A further length behind Rangirangdoo in third spot was Shoot Out, marginally in advance of Niwot, who hit the line hard to claim fourth just in advance of Caulfield Cup winner Southern Speed.

Manighar will now strive to complete the big dual-state treble of the Australian Cup-Ranvet-The BMW treble when he contests the $2 million The BMW at Rosehill on 7 April.

“We look forward to two weeks’ time now,” Moody said. “That’s the race we’ve aimed at since the start of the prep, so hopefully we haven’t bitten off more than we can chew along the way.”

Moody and Nolen were also the first Victorians home in the day’s other Group 1, the $600,000 Coolmore Classic, with King’s Rose finishing a close third in the 1500m event.

The former Kiwi mare was beaten only a half-length, upstaged by under-rated Sydneysider Ofcourseican, who presented Kathy O’Hara with her maiden Group 1 success, and two-time Group 1 Secret Admirer.

Another Victorian, the Stuart Webb-trained Yosei was a fast-closing fourth and her jockey Michelle Payne protested against the winner for interference between the 900m and 400m but that was quickly dismissed by stewards.

Samaready sizzles in Sydney

Samaready took her record to four wins from as many starts at her Sydney debut.

Unbeaten Victorian filly Samaready confirmed her place at the head of Golden Slipper markets with a dominant win in today’s $300,000 Group 2 Reisling Slipper Trial at Rosehill.

Just over an hour after crack Sydney colt Pierro confirmed his Slipper bona fides with a gutsy win, the Mick Price-trained star comfortably accounted for a number of highly-rated Slipper rivals in the fillies’ qualifier.

Price was pleased to see the daughter of More Than Ready embrace the Sydney way of going at what was her first start since her commanding Blue Diamond win on 25 February and suggested she would be even better in the Golden Slipper.

“I’ve tried to allow plenty of improvement into the slipper, so she’s basically done and ready now,” Price said.

“All I have to do is probably (give her) one gallop Tuesday week and she should be right. She’s the right filly to do it (win the Golden Slipper).”

A $4 chance heading into the Reisling Slipper Trial, Samaready tightened into $2.50 with TAB Sportsbet after her impressive display.

Samaready will become the first filly since another Victorian, Courtza, in 1989 to complete the Blue Diamond-Golden Slipper double if she wins the $3.5 million event on 7 April. Sepoy last year became the first male to complete the double since Manikato in 1978.

Where Samaready had come from just off the speed to win her three Victorian starts, she demonstrated another string to her bow when she came from second-last in the Reisling.

In-form jockey Craig Newitt opted to be patient after a moderate beginning, but launched a three-wide move at the 600m and quickly put herself just behind the leading division upon straightening.

Samaready cruised up alongside leader Snitzerland early in the straight and while the last-start Flemington winner offered a fight between the 300m and 150m, Samaready put the result beyond doubt with a powerful final 100m.

That carried the $1.50 favourite to a two-length win over Hussousa ($6), who did well to claim second after encountering a chequered passage in the straight, while Meidung ($26) flashed home to cut Snitzerland ($5.50) out of third.

“They just went mad early, they really set up a good speed and the beauty about this filly is she just does everything I ask her to,” Newitt said.

“I ended up a couple of lengths further back than I wanted to be, but I was always pretty confident and put her into the race before the corner. I made a reasonably long run on her but she was strong on the line.

“She almost gives you a better feel than what she does going the Melbourne way but if we can just keep her ticking over the next fortnight, we’ll be very happy.”

Samaready’s time of 1:12.05 was 0.09 seconds faster than the Gai Waterhouse-trained Pierro went to win the Todman Slipper Trial.

The son of Lonhro also remains unbeaten after pulling out a fighting performance to edge out the Peter Snowden-trained Epaulette, a half-brother to Helmet, with last night’s William Reid Stakes-winning jockey Nash Rawiller in the saddle.

Samaready’s win kicked off a good hour for Price, who back home at Caulfield produced Sheila’s Star to score an effortless win in the $70,000 Winning Edge Signature (1400m).

Fox pounces on maiden Group 1

Foxwedge completed a stellar day for Nash Rawiller when he won the William Reid Stakes.

Nash Rawiller rounded out a dual state feature double when he partnered Foxwedge to victory in the $400,000 Group 1 Power Tracker William Reid Stakes at Moonee Valley.

Less than five hours after winning the Listed Albury Cup aboard the David Hayes-trained Extra Zero, Gai Waterhouse’s stable rider assured Foxwedge’s stud future when he engineered an upset win over Hay List in the 1200-metre event.

It capped a dream day for the former Victorian, who has always had a high opinion of the John O’Shea-trained three-year-old, who he rode to a narrow second to champion colt Sepoy in the Group 1 Coolmore Stud Stakes last spring.

“It was lovely to go down there and win the Albury Cup, but you can see how much this one means to me,” Sydney-based Rawiller said. “It’s very satisfying, obviously for John O’Shea and (owner) Mr Bateman and the whole team.

“He’s a colt I had such a big opinion of from day one when I rode him and today was the first time since he’s run second to Sepoy that he’s really knuckled down like that.

“Gee, he’s a good colt and he’s got that real X-factor about him.”

The son of sire-of-the-moment Fastnet Rock made the most of a crack Rawiller ride to get the money in the feature event of the final meeting of this year’s Melbourne Festival of Racing.

Foxwedge settled third, behind leader Buffering, before edging one off the fence rounding the home bend and pounding on Hay List just when the hot favourite looked to have the race in his keeping.

The $12 chance, who finished third behind Hay List and Buffering in the Newmarket Handicap, charged alongside the $1.55 favourite inside the 100m and pulled away to score by three quarters of a length.

Buffering ($8.50) stuck on for third, 1-3/4 lengths away, meaning the first three home in the Newmarket Handicap again filled the top three placings, albeit in a different order.

It was a remarkable turnaround for Foxwedge, who met Hay List 6kg worse for being beaten two lengths in the Newmarket, when ridden by Craig Williams, but Rawiller said tonight’s race panned out better.

“It was no fault of Craig’s the other day, he drew a wide gate and nothing gave him cover,” Rawiller said. “Every time I’ve ridden him I’ve made sure he got that real nice suck along and given him the last shot and he’s a damn good horse when you can do that.”

Mighty Mosheen sizzles in Sydney

Mosheen became the first filly to win the Group 1 Randwick Guineas on Saturday.

Glamour Victorian filly Mosheen was at it again on Saturday when she upstaged the boys to land the Group 1 Randwick Guineas (1600m) in Sydney in a thrilling finish.

Once again given a great ride from a horror draw by jockey Danny Nikolic, the Robert Smerdon-trained star powered home late to grab Said Com and Laser Hawk in the shadows of the spot.

In doing so she became the first filly to claim the feature three-year-old mile and the first equine to complete the Australian-Randwick Guineas double.

As she did in the Group 1 Australian Guineas (1600m) at Flemington a fortnight prior, Mosheen handled the rain soaked track with aplomb to add to her burgeoning reputation.

With unbeaten Group 1 Thousand Guineas (1600m) winner Atlantic Jewel sidelined since the spring through injury, Mosheen has well and truly staked her claim for the title of Australia’s best filly.

The daughter of Fastnet Rock, who is part-owned by leviathan Japanese owner-breeder Katsumi Yoshida, has won three Group 1 races whilst Atlantic Jewel has been out of action.

It was a rough house trip for Mosheen early in the Guineas after Nikolic found a position close to the rails from gate 14, but the hoop said he was always confident of success.

“It got a little tight a couple of times there through the run, but she’s just my little class act. She’s a ripper,” he declared.

“From about the 1200 (metre mark) I knew I was going to be hard to beat because I was one off the fence and really travelling smoothly.

“A couple of horses in front of me were quite tight and I was getting screwed a little bit, but to her credit she kept focused and she was just too good for them today.”

Smerdon was again in awe of his stable star who was returning to Sydney for the first time since running second at long odds in the Golden Slipper 11 months prior.

“She’s been right handed, she’s been left handed, she’s won an Oaks, so she’s done everything we’ve thrown at her,” a proud Smerdon said.

He indicated that it wouldn’t be the last time punters got to see Mosheen during the Sydney Carnival either with Rosehill Guineas and Vinery Stud Stakes both Group 1 options in the coming weeks.

“I think she’s got a great constitution and seems to be able hold her condition where she is now so I don’t think we’re at the end of it (her campaign) yet,” Smerdon said.

Nikolic was quick to suggest that the $400,000 Vinery Stud Stakes (2000m) on 7 April against her own sex would be Mosheen’s to lose if Smerdon took up that option.

“The Vinery is probably in her keepings now because she’s really relaxing,” he said.

Hometown hero and race favourite Manawanui hit the lead early in the straight, but wilted to finish out of the placings.