Champion trainer John Hawkes casts a giant shadow over Saturday's Becks Caulfield Guineas in which he saddles Patinack's All Too Hard.
When training for the Ingham family's Woodlands Stud, Hawkes trained Pierro's sire Lonhro to win the 2001 Caulfield Guineas in an amazing last to first performance that earned the son of another Hawkes trained champion Octagonal the first of 11 Group 1 wins.
Hawkes also put the polish on Epaulette's sire Commands who, two years before Lonhro's heroics, finished third to Redoute's Choice and Testa Rossa in a vintage renewal of the race.
Little wonder the Guineas has earned the accolade as a stallion making race.
When the Inghams sold Woodlands to Darley, Commands was firmly established as a commercial success but the jury was still out on Lonhro who made a steady if unspectacular start to his stud career. For an uncomfortably long time, Minnesota Shark and Black Minx were his only stakes-winners. Then, with a bit of age and experience other members of his first crop, such as Beaded, O'Lonhro, Pinwheel, Renaissance, Serenissima, Sainthood, Skytrain and Tempika began to rack up stakes victories.
Another ten stakes winners, including the Group 1 winner Denman, were in Lonhro's second crop and he was on his way to a champion sires title.
Invariably, Lonhro's stock have required some time to show their best and this is what makes Pierro such a desirable stallion prospect.He was precocious enough to win the Breeders' Plate, the first two-year old stakes race of the season in Sydney, and was durable enough to win a two-year old triple crown in a demanding first season on the track.
Arguably, his most impressive performance came at his final start at two in the Champagne Stakes.
Bred and sold as a weanling by Darley, Pierro may well head back to his birthplace at the conclusion of his race career.
If he never wins another race, the son of Lonhro has achieved enough to price himself out of the range of all but a handful of farms. Darley may be one of the few with the clout to shell out the big bucks.
The best son of the best son of the best son of Zabeel, Pierro will hopefully have at least one more season on the track to excite race fans before he takes up stud duties.