Jun­gle Edge over­come as Pier­ata tri­umphs in Stakes

The Sunday Mail (Queensland) - - SPORT - RAY THOMAS SYD­NEY STAKES

COULD Pier­ata have won The Ever­est at Rand­wick yes­ter­day?

This was the ques­tion many ex­perts were ask­ing af­ter Pier­ata top­pled a qual­ity field of sprint­ers in The Ever­est con­so­la­tion, the Group 3 $500,000 Syd­ney Stakes (1200m).

Trainer Greg Hick­man had wanted to get Pier­ata into The Ever­est all spring with­out suc­cess and was still hope­ful of a late call-up last week when it was learned Home Of The Brave was com­ing out of the race.

Slot-holder Aus­tralian Turf Club sub­sti­tuted Godol­phin sta­ble­mate Os­borne Bulls for Home Of the The Brave and Hick­man’s The Ever­est hopes were dashed.

The trainer and his syn­di­cate of own­ers are al­ready think­ing about the $14 mil­lion The Ever­est next year af­ter Pier­ata’s Syd­ney Stakes tri­umph.

Pier­ata ($4.40 equal favourite) sprinted bril­liantly from the top of the straight to race away with the Syd­ney Stakes, scor­ing by nearly three lengths from early leader Jun­gle Edge ($4.40 equal favourite) with Clearly In­no­cent ($9.50) more than two lengths away third, just in front of Tac­ti­cal Ad­van­tage.

Star jockey Tommy Berry said his win on Pier­ata “means a lot to me”.

“I was born and bred at War­wick Farm so Greg has been a big part of my life and ca­reer,’’ Berry said.

Hick­man’s ef­fort to bring Pier­ata back from an un­placed Ep­som run over 1600m two weeks ago and have the fouryear-old primed for the Syd­ney Stakes over 1200m didn’t go un­no­ticed by Berry.

“Greg is an un­der­rated trainer,’’ he said.

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