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Warwick Farm horseman Gregory Hickman said he would love to target the autumn’s Doncaster Mile 2018 with his star colt Pierata following an impressive win in the Magic Millions 3YO Guineas.
A son of former star galloper Pierro, Pierata took his career earnings up over $1.48 million with success in Saturday’s Restricted Listed $2 million Gold Coast Magic Millions 3YO Guineas (1400m).
The one and a half-length victory over Bjorn Baker’s Snitzel colt Goodfella ($9.50) also saw Pierata secure the lucrative $500,000 Summer Triple Crown Bonus.
Dual Melbourne Cup winning hoop Corey Brown guided Pierata to victory again, the three-year-old galloper backing-up from an emphatic Doomben win a fortnight back in the Group 3 Vo Rogue Plate (1350m).
In third just under three lengths off Pierata to round out the Magic Millions 3YO Guineas trifecta was the Chris Waller-trained Calculated ($11), the So You Think colt racing in Queensland for the first time.
Hickman was full of post-win praise for Pierata, a $160,000 buy for connections, who he believes still has plenty of improving to do.
“Winning this race is everything. It all went to plan and it’s not a bad earn,” he told Racing Queensland.
“When he grows up you’ll see a real racehorse.
“He’s not there yet and that’s the scary thing.”
Brown, who kept his cool throughout the ride, echoed Hickman’s sentiments and tipped Pierata for bigger and better things over the autumn – winter racing season.
“He’s only going to get better and he’ll be a very good horse next preparation,” Brown said on Saturday.
“He’s an exciting horse. I know he’s a Group 1 horse.
“I thought he was a winter Group 1 horse, but the way he’s measured up again here today, he’s definitely an autumn or even spring horse.”
As a two-year-old last Brisbane Winter Racing Carnival Pierata was tested in the Group 1 J.J. Atkins (1600m) at Doomben where he ran two lengths back seventh to Winning Rupert.
Hickman is confident that at his next Group 1 start, Pierata will be a force to be reckoned with named the Group 1 $3 million Doncaster Mile (1600m) at Royal Randwick on April 7 as a possible target.
“He hit the line super the one time we tried him at the mile in the J J Atkins and if he strengthens up a bit he’ll just be better again,” Hickman said.
“I’d love to run him in a race like the Doncaster but he’ll go to the paddock now and we’ll just look after him before we work out a plan.”
One of the Sydney Autumn Racing Carnival majors conducted during ‘The Championships’, the Doncaster Mile has been a happy hunting ground for three-year-olds including recent wins by Sacred Falls (2013) and Kermadec (2015).
A career at stud also now calls for Pierata and Hickman was excited to wait for the deals to roll in over the next year or so.
“There’s been a couple of them knocking on the door but after today’s win I reckon we’ll be hearing from a lot more from them,” he said.
To back Pierata over the autumn at the best odds and to access the top early Doncaster Mile 2018 betting markets head to Ladbrokes.com.au today.
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