Pierata (Pierro) winning the Gr.2 Shorts H'cap at Randwick

Pierro Sprinter Made Everest Favourite

The Group II ATC The Shorts (1100m) at Randwick on Saturday featured several of the leading contenders for the upcoming $14 million the Everest next month and it was Pierata (5h Pierro x November Flight, by Flying Spur) that emerged triumphant.

A close second at his first run back in the Group III ATC Concorde Stakes over 1000 metres, the Greg Hickman trained Pierata appreciated the slightly longer trip to power home for Tommy Berry and defeat Classique Legend with Redzel a brave third head of Graff, the first four all turning in excellent trials for The Everest.

Pierata was very nearly retired to stud at the end of last season after winning the Group I ATC All Aged Stakes, so the decision to race on is looking like a good one with the stallion now racing in the best form of his life.

“Greg and I were talking and think he’s come back bigger, stronger and better and he obviously has,” Berry said.

A $160,000 Magic Millions purchase for Greg Hickman from the Kitchwin Hills draft, Pierata runs for a big syndicate of some 20 owners and has the imposing record of eight wins and eight placings from 21 starts with prizemoney in excess of $3.6 million.

“It worked out perfect and he let down really well. He’s right where we want him,” Hickman said.

“It’s all about the Grand Final (Everest on October 19) now. I’ll just wait and see how he is and if I think he needs another run, he’ll have one and if not he’ll be ready to go.”

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 has a two year-old colt by Rubick that made $900,000 at Inglis Easter and is back in foal to Pierata’s sire Pierro.

Pierro has shown himself to be a remarkable source of quality performers, not just classic horses like his Derby hero Levendi and Oaks queen Pinot, but also Group I WATC Kingston Town Classic winner Arcadia Queen, who is another top contender headed to The Everest.

Pierata is the third stakes-winner this season for Golden Slipper winner Pierro, who stands this spring at a fee of $88,000.