Dragon Leap (Pierro) winning the Gr.2 Auckland Guineas at Ellerslie

New G2 Winner for Pierro

A $1,050,000 Inglis Easter purchase for Hermitage Thoroughbreds Pty Ltd / Wexford Stables / Andrew Williams Bloodstock from the Coolmore draft, exciting three year-old Dragon Leap (3g Pierro x Pontiana, by Redoute’s Choice) stamped his New Zealand Derby credentials with his winning effort in the Group II Jamieson Park Auckland Guineas (1600m) at Ellerslie on New Year’s Day.

It was the second win and first stakes victory for the Lance O’Sullivan and Andrew Scott-trained gelding who more than made up for his last-start indiscretion when costing himself the win in the Listed Trevor Eagle Memorial 3YO (1500m) when racing greenly in the closing stages of the race.

With the addition of blinkers, Dragon Leap was a lot more settled on Wednesday, sitting midfield for jockey James McDonald for the majority of the race before running on late to get the better of race favourite Riodini by a long neck.

“At least he didn’t make a fool of himself this time,” jockey James McDonald quipped. “It’s well-documented he should probably be unbeaten, but he is just going to keep getting better and better as the preparation goes on.

“If you didn’t know he was as good as what he is you would say he is very green and he is probably six months away, but he is a pretty cool horse.

“He gave me a really sweet ride. With the blinkers on for the first time he was a little bit fired up the first furlong and a half, but then he got into a lovely rhythm from there.”

Foaled and raised at Coolmore, Dragon Leap has two wins and a second from just three starts and was the equal highest priced yearling by his sire Pierro sold in 2018.

Dragon Leap is a half-brother to Group I ATC Randwick Guineas winner Inference, who was also third in the Group I VRC Victoria Derby. He is the second winner from stakes-placed Redoute’s Choice mare Pontiana, who has a yearling colt by So You Think and a two year-old filly by Vancouver called Montia that is being trained at Lindsay Park.

Dragon Leap is the 21st stakes-winner for Pierro and is the eighth bred from a daughter of Redoute’s Choice, the nick running at an impressive 21.6% stakes-winners to runners.

Pierro has 25 entries for the 2020 Magic Millions Yearling Sale.