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Pierro picks up the second leg of the two-year-old triple crown

  PICTURE: Getty Images  

Slipper winner Pierro slams Caviar sibling

Report: Australia, Saturday

Randwick: Sires' Produce Stakes (Group 1) 7f, turf, 2yo

GOLDEN SLIPPER winner Pierro (Gai Waterhouse/Nash Rawiller) stole the limelight on AJC Derby day as he downed Black Caviar's previously unbeaten half-brother All Too Hard in a race record time.

Pierro, unbeaten in five starts, picked up the second leg of the two-year-old triple crown, and a possible rematch with All Too Hard looms in the third leg, the Champagne Stakes, in a fortnight.

Their clash was the talk ofRandwick after All Too Hard missed the Golden Slipper yet was still sent out the $1.65 favourite before suffering a near-tw0-length defeat.

"Pierro is the best two-year-old of his generation," declared Waterhouse, who is on a hot streak after a Rosehill treble followed by a double, including the Slipper, last week.

"They keep doubting him but he keeps winning," said Waterhouse. "What else has he got to do? He beat the best quality Slipper field in a long time fair and square, and came out and won again today."

All Too Hard came out of the gates last and connections may well relish another crack at Pierro in the Champagne Stakes.

Also on Saturday

Randwick: Sapphire Stakes (Group 2) 6f, turf, 3yo+ f/m

Star Coolmore filly Atlantic Jewel (Mark Kavanagh/Michael Rodd) returned from injury with a breathtaking victory, leaving her trainer to shake his head in amazement and wipe away tears at his once-in-a-lifetime horse.

A relieved Kavanagh watched the race with Coolmore's Tom Magnier as the unbeaten filly crossed the line to destroy her rivals by 3¾ lengths on her first outing since a back injury forced her out of the VRC Oaks in the spring.

"They don't come along very often like this," Kavanagh said after watching Atlantic Jewel stretch her unbeaten record to six.

Atlantic Jewel is likely to have just one more autumn start with Kavanagh pinpointing either the Group 1 All-Aged Stakes or Group 2 Emancipation Stakes (1600m) at Randwick in two weeks' time.

She will then be given a break before being aimed at the spring carnival where Kavanagh said the sky was the limit.

Randwick: TJ Smith Stakes (Group 1) 6f, turf, 3yo+

The six-year-old Master Of Design (David Payne/Craig Williams) pounced late to score an upset win at odds of 30-1.

The impeccably bred entire, a son of Redoute's Choice, was bought for A$2.1 million as a yearling but chronic problems thwarted his racetrack career, leading Darley to sell him to his current syndicate of owners for just a tenth of that price.

"His feet, joints. You name it and he's had a problem there," Payne said. "He's not a horse you can gallop. When they're a crock and you nurse them back, it makes a difference when you win."

Craig Williams settled him at the back of the small field and chimed in down the outside to just collar leader Rain Affair on the line, denying the speedster his maiden Group 1 victory by a long head. Royal Ascot possible Foxwedge finished last.

With his victory, Master Of Design earned an automatic berth into the Breeders' Cup Turf Sprint at Santa Anita on November 3.




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