Gai takes fifth Slipper with Overreach
Report: Australia, Saturday
Rosehill (Sydney): Golden Slipper (Group 1) 2yo, turf, 6f
OVERREACH (Gai Waterhouse/Tommy Berry) showed just why she has dominated Golden Slipper markets for weeks with a comprehensive display at Rosehill on Saturday to give Gai Waterhouse her fifth win in the world's richest race for two-year-olds.
While Waterhouse took it all in her stride, jockey Tommy Berry was overcome by emotion as he soaked up his first win.
The filly's owner George Altomonte was more reserved, but justifiably proud as he became the first person since TJ Smith to individually breed and race the Slipper winner which the great trainer achieved in 1986 with Bounding Away.
After giving the 9-5 favourite the perfect run on the rails just behind the leaders from barrier one, Berry brought Overreach off the fence to the middle of the track in the straight.
She stretched out in the slow ground to hold 10-1 shot Sidestep at bay by a length and three-quarters with a length to Sweet Idea.
"She showed her superiority," Waterhouse said. "I'm so admiring of Tommy Berry. Not only is he a capable jockey he has the ability to be able to flow with things."
Overreach is by dual hemisphere Darley stallion Exceed And Excel who is also the sire of Sidestep and fourth-placed Guelph. "He has done a wonderful job," Darley's Henry Plumptre said.
Also on Saturday
Rosehill: George Ryder Stakes (Group 1) 7½f, turf, 3yo+
Superstar colt Pierro (Gai Waterhouse/Nash Rawiller) returned to Golden Slipper day triumphant to increase his unbeaten streak in Sydney but was made to work harder than expected.
The colt, labelled by trainer Gai Waterhouse in the excitement of the victory celebrations as "the best horse we've seen in Australia for 50 years", notched his fifth Group 1 and his second at weight-for-age against older horses with a determined long neck win over New Zealander King Mufhasa.
Sent away a hot favourite at shorter than 1-2, Pierro didn't have the best run in transit as he was wide and midfield and Rawiller admitted to concerns as the colt "dipped and dived" in the slow going.
But when it came down to the fight the three-year-old was able to prevail and make it 10 straight wins in Sydney.
He wore down a gallant King Mufhasa with Shoot Out finishing off well to be three-quarters of a length away in third.
Waterhouse said victory from the horse she rates as the best she's trained was something special. "I very rarely get goosebumps watching races, and I've watched a few top-class horses, but today I really got goosebumps," she said. "He's a special horse. He's a sexy horse. He's the best."
Rosehill: Vinery Stud Stakes (Group 1) 1m2f, turf, 3yo fillies
The 2-1 favourite Norzita (Bart Cummings/Hugh Bowman) gave her legendary trainer his 266th Group 1 win, although the 85-year-old stayed away, deciding not to brave the wet conditions.
Norzita had given Cummings Group 1 win No.265 in the Flight Stakes in the spring and the Vinery Stud was her first attempt at 2,000 metres. After slogging it out over the final stages with Longport, she prevailed by a long neck.
The race's registered name is the Storm Queen Stakes, appropriately named after the 1966 Golden Slipper winner, the first of Cummings' four.