Pierro wows Cassidy with Rosehill triumph
Report: Australia, Saturday
Rosehill: Canterbury Stakes (Group 1) 6½f, turf, 3yo+
PIERRO (Gai Waterhouse/Jim Cassidy) earned a rave review from veteran jockey Jim Cassidy after the three-year-old beat More Joyous in the Canterbury Stakes.
Over the past 30 years, Cassidy has ridden many of the champions of the Australian turf but none as good as Pierro.
Cassidy labelled the colt the best he had ever ridden after the three-year-old beat glamour mare More Joyous to win the Canterbury Stakes on Saturday.
It was the veteran jockey's second Group One victory on the Rosehill program and came little more than an hour after Foreteller took out the Ranvet Stakes.
Pierro was sent out the even-money favourite to extend his unbeaten record in Sydney to nine in what had been billed as a match-race with his Gai Waterhouse-trained stablemate More Joyous who had won the race twice when it was at Group 2 level.
As expected, Rain Affair set out in front with Pierro parked third and More Joyous midfield.
Cassidy made his move on Pierro in the straight and he dashed clear with More Joyous gaining ground late to finish within three-quarters of a length.
"He is the best horse I've ever ridden," Cassidy said. "He is an absolute freak. Might And Power was a champion but you had to switch him off and on. This horse is just so easy to ride."
Cassidy was riding Pierro only because Nash Rawiller was committed to More Joyous. "She was in a bit of an awkward spot early but I thought she was pulling ground off him late," Rawiller said.
"I think perhaps the blinkers should go back on if she is going to run over 1500 metres in the Queen of the Turf."
John Singleton, owner of More Joyous, said the mare's plans hinged on whether the promise of a A$1 million prize-money boost for the All Aged Stakes materialised.
There has been a push over the past couple of weeks to attract a star-studded field including Black Caviar to the 7f race on April 27 with a corporate bookmaker saying it would help with the funds.
Also on Saturday
Rosehill: Ranvet Stakes (Group 1) 1m2f, turf, 3yo+
Jim Cassidy's Group 1 double was initiated by ex-French Foreteller (Chris Waller), who beat a field packed with European imports to land a 30-1 victory.
The favourite Fiveandahalfstar took up his customary front-running role and looked set to go one better than his Australian Cup second until Cassidy got busy in the last 100 metres and Foreteller wore him down.
Rosehill: Coolmore Classic (Group 1) 7½f, turf, 3yo+
Darley filly Appearance (Guy Walter/Blake Shinn) backed up her surprise Group 1 triumph from the spring with a thrilling win in a three-way finish over Red Tracer and Norzita ($7.50) the same margin away third.
The win was a moment to savour for jockey Blake Shinn who notched his first Group 1 success since his return from a 12-month disqualification more than a year ago for betting offences.