Pinot The Toast Of Flemington

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Pinot | Bronwen Healy

By Emma Berry

As the Spring Carnival prepares to draw to a close on Saturday, the penultimate major race day at Flemington featured the G1 Kennedy Oaks and a memorable debut success in the Victorian Classic for the first lady of Australian racing, Gai Waterhouse.

The length-and-a-quarter winner Pinot (Aus) (Pierro {Aus}), who is trained in partnership by Waterhouse and Adrian Bott, also became the first Group 1 winner for her sire Pierro (Aus), a former five-time Group 1 winner for the Waterhouse stable.

“I’ve been riding for a long time and I never thought I’d ride Gai’s first Oaks winner. It’s amazing she hasn’t done it before–she’s such a great trainer,” said winning jockey Stephen Baster who has enjoyed a successful Spring Carnival and also won Saturday’s G3 Lexus S. for Waterhouse on Cismontane (Aus) (High Chaparral {Ire}).

Things didn’t go completely to plan initially for Pinot, who reared as the stalls opened and missed the break. With Rimraam (Aus) (Commands {Aus}) taking the early lead and short-priced favourite Aloisia (NZ) (Azamour {Ire}) tucked in behind her, Baster was forced to to circle the field on Pinot to challenge Aloisia for second, holding that position as opponents lined up wide round the home turn to lay down a challenge.

No fewer than six fillies in the 12-runner field were backing up after running on Saturday in the G2 G H Mumm Wakeful S., including the winner Luvaluva (NZ) (Mastercraftsman {Ire}), who posed a serious threat down the straight but weakened along with Aloisia to allow the Tony McEvoy-trained Bring Me Roses (Aus) (High Chaparral {Ire}) and Hiyaam (Aus) (High Chaparral {Ire}), representing Mick Price, to claim the minor placings.

Baster added, “She’s just a deadest star. I’ve been working for Gai for years but this year she’s just been unbelievable. Adrian has come on board and he does a great job with the horses and all the staff love their horses to death. This filly is only just maturing now and she can only improve.”

Co-trainer Adrian Bott was impressed with the strong staying performance posted by Pinot, who arrived in Victoria as a maiden but has now notched three wins on the bounce, including the G3 Ethereal S. on her previous start on Oct. 21.

He said, “It was such an exciting race and I think we’ve seen a really special filly today. Full credit to Steve–he took his time and took a deep breath and let her work her way around the field into a nice position. From there she just did the rest. She’s a beautiful staying type and I think we saw that towards the end there.”

Bott continued, “It’s very special being part of Gai’s first Oaks and it’s huge credit to the team here and in Sydney.”

Flanked by Pinot’s international syndicate of owners, which includes American members in Aron Wellman’s Eclipse Thoroughbred Partners (Click here and here for a pair of features on Pinot by Alan Carasso), along with Newgate Stud, James Bester and the trainer’s daughter Kate, Waterhouse commented of her first Victoria Oaks winner, “She’s really good–she kicked their brains in today, didn’t she? It gave me a little shock when she didn’t jump straight to the front but I just love the way Steve took his time. He didn’t spend a penny but he just got there and then the further she went the bigger the margin. She’s everything a trainer or an owner could want.”

OTI Racing’s hot favourite Aloisia (NZ) (Azamour {Ire}), the winner of the G1 Thousand Guineas and G2 Moonee Valley Vase on her last two runs coming into the race, spread a plate on the way to the start and had to be reshod behind the barriers.

Her trainer Aaron Purcell said, “I was a bit concerned that she didn’t settle well in the run and she just didn’t finish off her race well enough. It didn’t help that she had to be reshod in front of such a huge crowd. We thought that we were in the right place to win anyway but it just didn’t work out. She’ll have a spell now and will likely be aimed at the AJC Oaks.”

Pedigree Notes
Pinot’s sire Pierro was the standout of his generation when trained by Waterhouse to win the G1 Golden Slipper among his five top-level wins, but her dam Dizelle (Aus) (Zabeel {NZ}) was no slouch either and won the G1 AJC Australian Oaks for John Hawkes in 2005, while grandam Danelagh (Aus) (Danehill) won the G1 Blue Diamond S. at two and was runner-up in the G1 Thousand Guineas.

Dizelle is already the dam of the multiple group-placed Lucky Lago (Aus) (Encosta De Lago {Aus}) and her full-sister, the Sportingbet Coongy S. winner Dizlago (Aus), and Dizelle’s G2-placed half-sister Bernicia (Aus) (Elusive Quality) is the dam of G2 Tulloch S. winner Old North (Aus), who is by Pierro’s sire Lonhro. Dizelle has a yearling filly by Fastnet Rock (Aus) and a colt of this year by Written Tycoon (Aus). Click for the free Arion pedigree.

Thursday, Flemington, Australia
VRC OAKS-G1, A$1,005,000, VRC (US$769,535/£586,707/€661,640), 11-09, 3yo, f, Open Set, 2500mT, 2:37.25, gd.
1–PINOT, 55.5, f, 3, by Pierro
                1st Dam: Dizelle (G1SW-Aus, $750,823), by Zabeel (NZ)
                2nd Dam : Danelagh, by Danehill (USA)
                3rd Dam: Palatious, by Semipalatinsk (USA)
   1ST GROUP 1 Win. (A$200,000 Ylg 2016 WI Sydney Easter
Yearling Sale). O-Eclipse Thoroughbred Partners (Mgr: A
Wellman), Newgate S F (Mgr: G D Murphy), J A R Bester & Ms
K Waterhouse; B-K Biggs Enterprises Pty Ltd WA; T-G
Waterhouse & A Bott; J-S Baster; A$605,000. Lifetime Record:
6-3-2-0, A$733,275. *1/2 to Dizlago (Aus) (Encosta de Lago
{Aus}), SW-Aus; and Lucky Lago (Aus) (Encosta de Lago {Aus}),
MGSP-Aus, $217,365. **1st Group 1 winner for her sire (by
Lonhro {Aus}). Werk Nick Rating: A++. Click for the
   eNicks report & 5-cross pedigree.
2–Bring Me Roses, 55.5, f, 3, High Chaparral (Ire)–Freckled
Face, by Polish Patriot (USA). O-Clairden Racing (Mgr: Dr D J
O’Brien); BDr DJ O’Brien QLD; T-Tony McEvoy; J-L Currie;
A$180,000.
3–Hiyaam (NZ), 55.5, f, 3, High Chaparral (Ire)–Mazarine (NZ),
by Zabeel (NZ). O-Sheikh Mohammed Bin Khalifa Al Maktoum;
BSheikh Mohammed bin Khalifa Al Maktoum, Waikato, NZ;
T-M G Price; J-M J Dee; A$90,000.
Margins: 1 1/4, 1 1/2, SHD. Odds: 4.50, 30.00, 20.00.
Also Ran: Luvaluva (NZ) , Miss Admiration, Aloisia (NZ) , Rimraam (NZ) , Reliable Dame (NZ) , Sweet Mischief, Four Koalas, Lucky Louie, Circuleight.
Click for the Racing Post chart.

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