04/14/2012 10:10AM

Australia: Group 1 win earns Master of Design berth in Breeders' Cup Turf Sprint


The 30-1 outsider Master of Design caught Rain Affair in the final strides to score an upset win by a head in Saturday’s Group 1 T.J. Smith Stakes at Randwick Racecourse in Australia.

With the win, Master of Design, a 7-year-old Australian-bred horse by Redoute’s Choice, earned a fees-paid berth to the Breeders’ Cup Turf Sprint at Santa Anita in November. It is unclear whether he will take his place in that race. Master of Design must be nominated to the Breeders’ Cup program later this year to start in Turf Sprint.

In the about six furlongs T.J. Smith Stakes, which was worth approximately $1.02 million, Master of Design was ridden by Craig Williams for trainer David Payne. Hallowell Belle was third, a head behind pacesetter Rain Affair. Foxwedge, the 11-10 favorite, finished last of six.

There were two other Group 1 races on the Randwick card.

Pierro, the winner of the $3.5 million Golden Slipper Stakes on April 7, won his second group 1 of the month in the $510,000 Sires Produce Stakes over about seven furlongs for 2-year-olds.

Ridden by Nash Rawiller for trainer Gai Waterhouse, Pierro, by Lonhro, was fourth in a field of seven for the first half-mile and closed well through the stretch to win by 1 3/4 lengths over All Too Hard, the 3-5 favorite who broke slowly.  All Too Hard is a half-brother to the unbeaten Australian sprinter Black Caviar.

Ethiopia, an Australian-bred colt by Helenus, closed from last in a field of 12 to win his first Group 1 stakes, and first race of his career, in the $1.53 million Australian Derby over about 1 1/2 miles.

Ridden by Rhys McLeod for trainer Pat Carey, Ethiopia, a 14-1 shot, won by a head over 7-1 Polish Knight, with the Waterhouse-trained Laser Hawk, the 2-1 favorite, finishing third.

Ethiopia was second and third in Group 2 stakes in February and March before his upset win on Saturday.