Nash Rawiller
Nash Rawiller

Jockey Nash Rawiller is confident the Caulfield hoodoo that so often strikes champion Sydney gallopers on their first visit to The Heath won't affect short-priced favourite Pierro in Saturday's Caulfield Guineas.

The unbeaten Gai Waterhouse trained three-year-old is set to start the shortest priced favourite in the history of the prestigious race, which has attracted just eight starters, with many rivals scared away by Pierro's dominance.

Last season's triple crown winning two-year-old - who won his Victorian debut at Moonee Valley in the Group 2 Stutt Stakes at Moonee Valley over 1600 metres a fortnight ago by nearly five lengths - is the $1.28 favourite at Betfair but even shorter at TAB Sportsbet where he is now into $1.20 at fixed odds.

And Pierro is even favourite to beat the older horses in Australia's weight-for-age championship - the $3 million Cox Plate - back at Moonee Valley on October 27.

But Pierro is yet to race at Caulfield which has so often proved a graveyard for superstar Sydney three-year-olds with Kingston Town (1979), Sir Dapper (1983), Octagonal (1995) and recent dual Cox Plate winner So You Think (2009) all beaten in the Caulfield Guineas as hot favourites.

However Rawiller can see no reason why Pierro won't handle the tricky Caulfield circuit on Saturday, particularly after dominating at his first start racing the Melbourne way of going at Moonee Valley.

"I don't see why he shouldn't handle it (Caulfield)," Rawiller said on Melbourne racing radio station ''RSN'' on Friday morning.

"Every challenge we have asked of him before he has passed with flying colours.

"Every horse is entitled to have one off day but I can't wait to get aboard him tomorrow."

Pierro, who worked brilliantly at Flemington on Tuesday as he broke the 22 second barrier for his last 400 metres, is thriving on his first visit to Victoria - according to Rawiller.

"He was awesome in the Stutt Stakes at Moonee Valley, he had a lovely rhythm and travelled beautifully and there are certainly no issues with him travelling the Melbourne way."

However Rawiller is not underestimating his opposition and believes he may have to work hard in the early stages of the race after being drawn in barrier seven in the field of eight.

"I don't think for a second I will be just able to roll forward on him," he said.

"I will have to be aggressive out of the gates and be positive in the first 100 metres and find myself a spot (in running) and then see how the race pans out from there."

Rawiller is also on board Waterhouse's other short priced Group 1 favourite on Saturday in experienced mare More Joyous in the $400,000 Toorak Handicap (1600 metres).

The six-year-old - who is second favourite behind stablemate Pierro for the Cox Plate - has won 21 of her 28 starts (all at stakes level) and both her starts so far this spring but will have to set a weight carrying record for a mare in the race after being lumped with 60kg.

However Rawiller has no doubt More Joyous is a better horse now than when she won the Toorak two years ago carrying 58kg.

"She is a stronger commodity now," Rawiller said of the John Singleton owned galloper.

"She has really matured now and two years ago she was still a little fine and we saw that after the Toorak when she went to the Cox Plate and got beaten by So You Think."

"But I really believe she is a better horse now."


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