Greg Hickman has always had a huge opinion of three year-old colt Pierata (3c Pierro x November Flight, by Flying Spur) and it proved justified at Doomben on Saturday when he powered clear to win the $100,000 Winning Rupert Plate by nearly three lengths.
Having his first run back from a lengthy spell, Pierata raced up on the pace from gate one for Corey Brown and was in a different class to the line to win the 1200 metre sprint as he pleased.
Pierata’s owners recently knocked back a $1million offer for the talented colt and Hickman thinks he will soon be worth much more than that.
His dominant Winning Rupert Plate win was the first plank in a plan that will culminate in the $2m 3YO Gold Coast Magic Millions Guineas next month, and also potentially net an extra $500,000 summer crown bonus for winning any three of five designated 3YO races in Queensland.
“He’s got the potential to win the Group I race up in this area or maybe down in Sydney over the autumn,” said Corey Brown.
“He was pretty much the only reason I came to Brisbane today.
“He has still got more to offer, he put paid to them quite easily today but the further he goes the better he is going to get.
“If you don’t see a real good horse this prep you will see a real good horse next prep.”
Brown gave Pierata a lovely run behind leader Bring It Home Pop and Pierata did the rest.
“He has matured, he is still not there yet but he keeps on improving,” Greg Hickman said.
“Our main plan is the Magic Millions race but we will be here for these (summer crown) races.
“He will be hard to beat in all of them.”
Group II placed last season, Pierata has the overall record of two wins and a placing from five starts with prizemoney just shy of $130,000.
A $160,000 Magic Millions purchase for Greg Hickman from the Kitchwin Hills draft, Pierata was bred by Hobartville Stud and is a half-brother to Group III winning juvenile Ashokan.
He is the fourth winner from Group III winning Flying Spur mare November Flight, who produced a colt foal by Rubick this spring.
Pierata was the second smart winner on Saturday for Pierro, who also captured the open juvenile event at Rosehill in Sydney with Perfect Pitch (2f Pierro x Absolutely Flying, by Commands).
The Gary Portelli trained filly was slowly away on debut last month when chasing home promising filly Gongs for third on debut at Canterbury, but took plenty of improvement from that outing in both fitness and experience.
She raced up on the pace for Rachel King and fought on tenaciously to claim a head win in the 1100 metre dash over the favourite Miss Invincible.
Perfect Pitch was a $100,000 Magic Millions purchase from the Southern Cross Breeders draft for Laurel Oak Bloodstock in whose colours she runs.
Gary Portelli has intimate knowledge of Perfect Pitch, having trained the mother Absolutely Flying and half-sister Lipizzan for Laurel Oak Bloodstock.
“I was pretty confident coming into today but no one wanted to talk about this filly,” Portelli said.
“She had no luck at Canterbury, I think she should have finished a lot closer to the winner and she’d come on since the run.
“What you saw today is probably just a taste of what’s going to come.
“She’s got a real stayer’s action for mine and I think she’s going to be a nice three-year-old later on so I probably wouldn’t push onto the Magic Millions.”
Perfect Pitch is the second winner from Absolutely Flying, a placed Commands three-quarter sister to Group II winner Camporella from stakes-winner Really Flying.
Pierro also sired smart filly Aeecee Tong De (3f Pierro x Brandich, by Elusive Quality) to win at Canterbury on Friday night giving him three smart metropolitan winners in two days.
Coolmore’s Golden Slipper winning son of Lonhro is the leading Australian Second Crop sire with 18 winners of over $2.1 million highlighted by four stakes-winners Pinot, Levendi, Kentucky Breeze and Satin Slipper.
Pierro has 17 yearlings for Magic Millions and nine for Inglis Classic.