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Pierro Captures Golden Slipper for Lonhro

The weekend past saw the 56th running of the world's richest 2-year-old race, the AAMI Golden Slipper (Aus-I), run over 1200m (6 furlongs) at Rosehill in Sydney with the victor being the undefeated Gai Waterhouse-trained Pierro (Gai had touted Pierro strongly leading up to the race as seen in this pre-race video). Traditionally the race that decides the champion of their year, the Golden Slipper has proven itself a tough event with speed and pressure on from the start, so it is invariably won by a horse whose pedigree and subsequent race capabilities indicate potential at distances far beyond the six furlongs on the day. The 2012 running proved no different with Pierro, a Lonhro (AUS) (TrueNicks,SRO) colt who is named after the wine producer Pierro Vineyards from the Margaret River region in Western Australia, coming with a determined run to beat the Snitzel (AUS) (TrueNicks,SRO) filly Snitzerland with the previously undefeated Samaready, a daughter of More Than Ready (TrueNicks,SRO) in third place.

Pierro's sire Lonhro is a reverse shuttle stallion for Darley now serving his first season in the U.S. Lonhro is an interesting individual in that his sire, Octagonal—a son of leading New Zealand stallion Zabeel—was well at home at distances between 2000 to 2400m (10-12f). Lonhro's full brother Niello was the same. But Lonhro was best suited to races at 1400 to 1600m (7-8f), although he did win at the highest level at 2000m (10f) in what was a sit and sprint race. As we have previously discussed on this blog, Lonhro's stud career has primarily been noted for horses best between six furlongs and a mile, indicating that he is fairly dominant for speed. It will be interesting to see if in time Pierro is more like his sire, which we suspect he may be, or if he has the stamina predilection of the ancestors on his female line: the sires of his dam, granddam, and third dam (Daylami, Sadler's Wells, and Shirley Heights, respectively) are all gr. I winners at 10-12f.

While Pierro's immediate ancestors probably tell the most important story regarding his own race class—lest we forget that three of his four grandparents were actually top class racehorses—from a pedigree analyst's viewpoint Pierro has all sorts of interesting things going on in his pedigree. While it is far from something we would attribute any of the success to, the deep linebreeding theorists wax lyrical about the bountiful supply of Lady Josephine in the pedigree (including full relations Royal Charger and Tessa Gillian, and their three-quarter relations Nasrullah and Malindi), the presence of Nureyev and his three-quarter-brother Sadler's Wells, the reverse Mr. Prospector/Never Bend crosses in the center of his pedigree (Straight Strike and Daylami), and finally the three crosses of Never Bend combined with Sadler's Wells, thus inbreeding to Lalun.

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