Pierossa causes minor upset in Group 3 NJC Spring Stakes

Pierossa claimed the Group 3 Spring Stakes at Newcastle. Photo: Steve Hart

For a second straight year a filly has proven victorious in the NJC Spring Stakes with Pierossa storming home late to win the three-year-old Group 3 feature for Peter & Paul Snowden at Newcastle.

In what was a blanket finish at the winning post, with horses coming from all over the track, it was the Pierro filly who was able to replicate last year’s winners’ effort Festival Dancer in claiming victory.

Jockey Sam Clipperton expertly weaved his horse into the clear late after electing to sit mid-field on what eventuated to be a strong tempo early with Basquiat and Token Capitalist fighting for the front, while market favourites Robusto ($4) and Saveadateforme ($5) both headed to the rear of the field shortly after the start.

It was race-on however with 300m to go with horses coming from everywhere to get past the eventual winner with Kazalark and Robusto both for Chris Waller looking to spoil the party for team Snowden, but it was all too late as Pierossa hit the line the strongest over 1600m.

2022 NJC Spring Stakes Replay

Pierossa’s form didn’t bounce off the page pre-race only just breaking her maiden status on October 27 at Gosford.

However, this didn’t deter Sam Clipperton from electing to stick after riding her to victory that day.

While speaking post-race Sam Clipperton was full of praise for her underrated mount heading into Saturday.

“It was a tough win, I had a lot of time for this filly for a fair while – and she’s really progressed as the more racing she’s had, and she only won a maiden at Gosford with not a lot of depth, but her work on Tuesday morning was first class,” he said.

“She’s a filly you need to squeeze every little bit out of, but she really knuckles down under hard riding and I think this filly an even more mature filly in the Autumn and particularly when she gets to the 2000m and beyond distances.”

When asked why he elected to go around to the start off Pierossa’s back, Clipperton referred to her antic in the past.

“Well, she used to put on quite a show before the start and she got me at Canterbury in her first ever start and she got beaten a nose that day. So now it’s just about working with her and eliminating those habits, and I must say with racing she’s gotten a lot better.

“She’s not there yet, but she’s turning into a true professional”

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