G1 Victoria Derby Next for Grand Pierro
The Jason Warren-trained Grand Pierro (3g Pierro x Le Societe, by Anabaa) earned a shot at the Group I VRC Victoria Derby and a $1million bonus after a strong staying performance in Wednesday's Listed Roderick Insurance Brokers Geelong Classic (2200m).
Ridden by Craig Williams, Grand Pierro gradually wore down the stubborn favourite Let'srollthedice to win by a long-head.
Strongly supported following a fifth to Victoria Derby favourite Mr Maestro at Flemington, Grand Pierro only broke his maiden in September when victorious on the Pakenham Synthetic at his third start.
“He's a genuine stayer, this guy. He has been looking for dry tracks and a race over the right distance, and he found it today," Warren said.
"We came here with quite a lot of confidence, and I was surprised to see him so short in the market.
"It was justified, and he ran up to it. A really pleasing result to get another winner for Grand Syndications.
"I was very confident he'd run the trip, and he was strong on the line, so we can go what looks to be a better race for a bit more money.
"He's been a tricky horse to get going, and it is a tribute to my staff. He's got a few tricks up his sleeve, and when he heads out onto the track he doesn't do everything right.
"One things he's always had is a good stayers engine. He never blows. He always pulls up clean in the wind, and we've always had him marked as a Derby hopeful."
A $50,000 purchase for Grand Syndicates / John Price Bloodstock from the Collingrove Stud draft at the 2021 Inglis Premier Yearling Sale, Grand Pierro is the bets of five winners from as many to race out of the Group III-placed Anabaa (USA) mare Le Societe, a daughter of stakes-winner Ritzy Lady.
Grand Pierro is the 31st stakes-winner for Golden Slipper winning sire Pierro, who has had great success as a classic sire leaving both Derby and Oaks winners.