Two-year-old colt Pierro remained unbeaten in four starts when he collared pacesetter Snitzerland for a half-length victory in Australia's $3.5 million Golden Slipper Stakes (Aus-I) at Rosehill April 7.
The victory by Pierro made a prophet of trainer Gai Waterhouse, who six months ago predicted the son of Lonhro would win the prestigious 1,200-meter event following his debut win in the Breeders' Plate. Waterhouse won the Golden Slipper for the fourth time in her brilliant career.
Lonhro is currently standing his first northern hemisphere season at Darley USA.
Leaving from the inside barrier, jockey Nash Rawiller placed Pierro just off the pace along the rail. As the field fanned on the home turn, Rawillier asked Pierro for his effort and the colt set out after the Gerald Ryan-trained Snitzerland, who had pulled away from the rest of the field. Showing great tenacity, Pierro caught Snitzerland and inched away for a half-length victory.
"Today I ended up getting a perfect run," Rawiller told reporters. "I knew if he got a trouble-free run he would be hard to beat."
With Pierro's victory, Darley sires have now produced back-to-back Golden Slipper triumphs following the Elusive Quality colt Sepoy last year.
Pierro ($6.50 to win) was bred by Darley and is out of the Daylami mare Miss Right Note, a half sister to Octagonal’s French grade I-winning son Laverock. Miss Right Note foaled a full sister to Pierro in 2011 before being covered by Street Cry during the last breeding season.
Owner Greg Kolivos paid AUS$230,000 for Pierro at the Magic Millions Sales last year.
"In the heat of the moment you say things that you probably shouldn't, but I knew that this was a special colt," Waterhouse told reporters afterward.
"The improvement he had made from his first few gallops and trials to his first race was amazing; I don't think I've ever had a two-year-old improve as much as he did. I felt that with his breeding, being by Lonhro, he would only get better."
Lonhro is the sire of 32 stakes winners including fellow grade I winners Beaded, Benfica, and Denman.