Paddock beckons Pier

Group 1 (1600m) winner Pier will return to New Zealand on Sunday after finishing eighth in the Group 2 (1400m) won by Osipenko at last Saturday.

Prepared by Darryn and , Pier was to be aimed at the Group 1 Randwick Guineas (1600m) but pulled up sore following his first Australian assignment and will head to the paddock.

“Whether it happened in the gates or not, I'm not sure but he tweaked a muscle in his hamstring area. It's the off hind side,” Darryn Weatherley said.

“He was very uncomfortable straight after the race. Sunday and Monday he was noticeably dragging that back leg and couldn't trot up. He is a lot better now but he is still a touch sore.

“Our vet from Sydney, who is 's vet, said if he was his he would take him home and put him in the paddock. He could come right in seven days but you could bugger him and they start hurting and stop trying.

“He'll go in the paddock and look at having a nice spell and coming back in the spring. Maybe we look at Melbourne in the spring if he comes up.”

With their stable star side-lined for the autumn, the Weatherleys will now look to three-year-old stablemate Arby to fly the flag, following a good win over 1600m at on Wednesday.

Like Pier, Arby is a son of leading sire . He broke maiden ranks at his fifth start, having previously placed on two occasions.

“He was a well-deserved winner. He had been knocking on the door with a couple of unlucky runs,” Weatherley said.

“I know it is a big call but when Arby and Pier were both young horses they both trialled about the same time. Pier had two trials and two wins on the synthetic and Arby had two trials and won his on the synthetic and at Avondale (on the grass).

“At the time I couldn't separate the pair of them but then Arby had a bit of a foot issue and needed a bit more time whereas Pier carried on and won the (Group 2, 1400m) and the 2000 Guineas (Group 1, 1600m).

“I think he has more in store. If he seems okay in a week or so we might have a crack at the Levin Classic (Group 1, 1600m) and maybe the (Group 3, 2000m).

“We did have him in the Derby (Group 1, 2400m) but I think he is a year away from 2400m.”

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