Greg Hickman’s four-year-old Pierro entire Pierata claimed his own Group 1 victory on Saturday when taking the final Group 1 of the Sydney season, the $600,000, Group 1 Schweppes All Aged Stakes (1400m), at Randwick.
Three times in the past Pierata had placed at the ultimate level, the most recently in The Galaxy over 1100m at Rosehill on March 23rd, so there was justified satisfaction with Saturday’s clear cut win to add to his already good record.
Tommy Berry kept Pierata out in the middle of the main straight and this materially assisted the win with the clear racing room allowing the two of them to take the lead unhindered.
They then held at bay Osborne Bulls and Hugh Bowman who had taken a rails passage that meant and uneven wind-up to the front. While all that was going on Berry and Pierata had taken the initiative and the race was parcelled up in their favour.
The $2.60 favourite Osborne Bulls (Street Cry) added another second, his fifth in succession, with Siege Of Quebec (Fastnet Rock) and Tim Clark third with Champagne Cuddles fourth. The margins were a long neck and 1/2L.
The time was 1.20.64 on the Good 4 track with the final 600m in 34.30. Pierata paid $4.80 on fixed odds and $4.30 on the tote.
Pierata and Tommy Berry winning over Osborne Bulls and Hugh Bowman, picture Sportpix.com.au
“We have been knocking on the door for so long. He has been running the sectionals and in his work you could see he has being improving in his coat and attitude. Tommy rode him 10 out of 10. He has done the job and won,” said Hickman.
“Everybody works hard. A horse like this is life changing. I have got a little share in him which will help along the way.”
“He is like family to us. I grew up with him and used to call him cowboy when we were growing up,” said Berry.
“It is very special. I have always remembered where I come from and I love riding for the trainers out there [Warwick Farm]. You know how hard these guys work but they don’t get the credit they deserve.
“He jumped a bit sideways, I probably collected three or four of them [rivals] on the way out. It might of helped us.
“He travelled so sweetly for me in the run. At the top of the rise on the better going he was able to let down with that signature turn of foot he has got. I thought Hughie [Osborne Bulls] was going to get me at the 100m but my bloke actually pulled away from him late. He deserved to win, he is a quality colt and I am sure there will be a lot of studs knocking on the door now.
“They are passionate, they have stuck by Greg which is incredible, they decided to keep him [Pierata] when they could have sold him off a long time ago. Full credit to these guys,” he said.
Pierata, out of the Flying Spur mare November Flight, was winning for the seventh time from 19 starts and he has placed in seven earning stakes of $3,311,300 for his connections including Hickman and Mr R W Wilson, Mr W S Clegg, Dr G A Clegg, Mrs C E Clegg, Mr A A Gianesi, Mr A Merritt, Mr K B Ayton, Mr B R Turton, Mr M T Mathews, Mr C J Testa, Mr V Sikais, Steelies Racing, Mr T R Bonello, Mr J M Zammit, Mr M Aurisch, Mr A P Carney and Miss T A Powers.
Tommy Berry and Greg Hickman, picture Sportpix.com.au
All Aged Stakes, photo finish picture ATC
What the beaten jockeys said:
James McDonald (Le Romain): “He’s going well, a great campaign, just finding a few better.”
Hugh Bowman (Osborne Bulls): “Well he’s a model of consistency and he hasn’t let anyone down again.”
Sam Clipperton (Malaguerra): “Had a lovely run in the race, just didn’t have anything when I asked for an effort.”
Kerrin McEvoy (D'Bai): “Got creamed at the start which didn’t really help, the wind was out of our sails the first furlong. Slid forward into a spot, covered ground and his run was short lived.”
Blake Shinn (Manuel): “Good honest run, he didn’t begin the best and I just had to ask him to pick up to control the race in front. He travelled well, kicked strong and just got overhauled late. Good effort.”
Tim Clark (Siege Of Quebec): “He ran out of skin, back on a dry track at WFA level, I was really proud of his performance.”
Josh Parr (Lanciato): “I cannot believe how poorly he has gone, his work has been so good going into today, but we were never in the competition.”
Jason Collett (Fierce Impact): “Lovely run, really found the line well.”
Corey Brown (Youngstar): “She ran well, obviously not a suitable trip, without being under hard riding she was at her top the whole race, but she ran through the line nice. She was good.”
Brenton Avdulla (Champagne Cuddles): “Tried hard, just tried to get of the winner on the corner, but the 1400m probably sees her out at this level.”
Adam Hyeronimus (Siren's Fury): “Got flattened out of the gates and probably put as a length or two back and had she travelled a length or two closer she definitely finishes right behind them.”
Mark Zahra (Naantali): “She was a little bit keen early, but she didn’t disgrace herself first time at WFA.”