Waller confident about Sacred Falls in wet
- Sacred Falls
Experience on wet tracks in New Zealand should stand Sacred Falls in good stead when he tackles the Hobartville Stakes at Rosehill.by AAP
By Caryl Williamson
SYDNEY, March 1 AAP - Experience on wet tracks in New Zealand should stand Sacred Falls in good stead when he tackles the Hobartville Stakes at Rosehill.
The Group Two race will be the colt's second Australian outing in what is the strongest field he has taken on.
The Group One winner suffered his first defeat at his seventh start in the Royal Sovereign Stakes won by Hobartville rival Rebel Dane.
New Zealand racing has adopted a similar numbering system for grading tracks as Australia but theirs has an extra wet category to cope with the winter weather.
Sacred Falls has won on a slow 8 which would be heavy in Australia and what will be on the menu at Rosehill.
"I think he should be OK in the wet," Waller said.
The wet will not be his biggest obstacle with Pierro returning to the scene of the win which set him on a path to greatness.
When he won the Breeders' Plate in October 2011, trainer Gai Waterhouse declared him the Golden Slipper winner.
When he won the Silver Slipper on a heavy track at the corresponding meeting a year ago, others joined in and the colt went through the autumn undefeated culminating in the juvenile triple crown.
Unbeaten in Sydney, Pierro goes into the Hobartville (1400m) at his first start since his third behind Ocean Park and All Too Hard in the Cox Plate.
All Too Hard, who inflicted the first defeat on Pierro in the Caulfield Guineas, takes centre stage at Flemington on Saturday in the Australian Guineas.
He has already won two Group One races this campaign and a rematch with Pierro could be on the agenda in Sydney during the autumn carnival.
While Sacred Falls and Pierro now know what it's like to be beaten, Rebel Dane steps up for his biggest test having won all his four starts.
Trainer Gary Portelli is no sure how far he can go but he isn't going to shy away from the challenge.
Rebel Dane made him a believer when he came from last on the turn to win the Royal Sovereign Stakes.
"We haven't got to the bottom of him," Portelli said.
"He just wants to win. He surprised me at Warwick Farm and he might be better than I thought he was.
"It was a slow track that day so that's another box he's ticked."
Punters are also keeping faith with the rookie. Rebel Dane was the $4.60 second favourite for the Hobartville on Friday with Pierro the $1.75 top pick.