Thursday, April 4, 2013

Waller has hotpot Pierro in his sights with trio of George Ryder runners

Favourite: Pierro will be hard to beat.

Favourite: Pierro will be hard to beat. Photo: Jenny Evans

Premier trainer Chris Waller knows his role could be one of party-pooper on Saturday as he shoots for a record fourth straight George Ryder Stakes at Rosehill.

Waller has a trio of runners out to roll $1.55 favourite Pierro in the 1500-metre group 1, including the 2011 Prix Du Jockey Club (French Derby) winner Reliable Man. ''[Pierro] is a very good horse and a lot of people will be there to see him on Saturday,'' he said. ''My job is to upset him. Whether it is Shoot Out, Danleigh or Reliable Man, it will take a great effort to beat him.''

Reliable Man arrives in Australia as the winner of more than $1.5 million from 12 starts, which include four wins. Waller said he had been a difficult horse to place.

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"My job is to upset him [Pierro]": Trainer Chris Waller. Photo: Jenny Evans

''With what he has done overseas, finding the right race for him is hard,'' he said. ''He has best European form as a three-year-old and is a lovely horse. It has been a bit of a rush to get to this race but he has to start somewhere and we will find out a bit more about him on Saturday, against some of the best horse we have here.

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''We are trying to build him up slowly and get him ready for the spring, but he is a quality horse.''

Waller's team will be led by five-time group 1 winner Shoot Out, which won the group 1 Chipping Norton Stakes first-up, while Danleigh continues to defy his age of nine. ''Shoot Out has been the benchmark for the older weight-for-age horses at a mile but he meets the new kid on the block in Pierro and we have all seen how brilliant he is,'' Waller said. ''I think the month between runs really suits Shoot Out because he is such a great fresh horse, but he will need to be at the top of his game.''

Waller has won the George Ryder the past three years with Danleigh, Rangirangdoo and Metal Bender. Danleigh has finished down the track in the past couple of George Ryders but brings strong form this year after being placed in the Apollo and Chipping Norton stakes. ''Danleigh will run his usual honest race at this level,'' Waller said.

The stable also has a trio of runners in The BMW in Ranvet Stakes winner Foreteller, Kelinni and Gatewood, while Hoybell and Royal Descent will be its representative in the Vinery Stud Stakes.

Waller will attempt to upset another Gai Waterhouse favourite in More Joyous, rated a $1.35 chance, in the Queen Of The Turf with Red Tracer, which was runner-up in the Coolmore Classic last time.

''This is tougher and she jumps in weight but it is worth having a go at More Joyous while [Red Tracer] is in form,'' Waller said. ''She is probably better placed in handicaps but I think 1500m is the right distance for her to be taking on these top fillies [and mares]. It is about trying to get that group 1 win for her. If she runs well, we could look at the Doncaster with her.''


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