When Golden Slipper winner Pierro retired to Coolmore in 2013 there was high expectation for his stud career to come and one of those first crop horses to really put him on the map was Pierata (5h Pierro x November Flight, by Flying Spur), who hung up his racing plates for the last time after a brave second in the Group I ATC All Aged Stakes (1400m) at Randwick on Saturday.
Trained by Greg Hickman, Pierata was a promising two year-old that blossomed at three to score a lucrative win in the Magic Millions 3YO Guineas (1400m) before finishing second in the Group I ATC Randwick Guineas (1600m).
As a four and five year-old stallion, Pierata has concentrated on the sprint races and proved highly successful winning the Group I ATC All Aged Stakes last year among his nine career wins as well as earning Group I placings in the ATC The Galaxy and VRC Darley Sprint Classic.
With $5.8 million in earnings, Pierata heads the honour roll for his sire Pierro as his highest earning horse ahead of other Group I winners Regal Power, Arcadia Queen, Shadow Hero, Levendi and Pinot.
Pierata’s trainer Greg Hickman and jockey Tommy Berry would have loved to see their superstar bow out a winner, but he was courageous to the end going down by half a head to quality mare Tofane with Fasika (4m So You Think x Jarada, by Redoute's Choice) a good third.
“That was cruel. Just cruel,” Hickman said.
“I thought he had it but he found a horse a nose better than him on the day.
"He has been just a great horse to us and he has gone out running one of his best races.
"I can go to bed tonight knowing he was at his best, I just wished he had won.”
Tommy Berry forged a great partnership with Pierata riding him at his past 13 starts and was gutted not to have won.
“I have ridden horses that have won more Group Is than him but not many that try as hard,” he said.
A magnificent racehorse that was an inspired purchase for his trainer, snapped up for just $160,000 at Magic Millions, Pierata retires with the overall record of nine wins and nine placings from 26 starts with earnings of $5.8 million.