A straight out Clas­sic clash

Shepparton News - - RACING -

After miss­ing out on a start in The Ever­est, Pier­ata gets his chance to tackle Redzel when the two line up in the VRC Sprint Clas­sic at Flem­ing­ton.

They are the early equal favourites for the Group One sprint over the 1200 m-straight course, some­thing new to Pier­ata, but fa­mil­iar to Redzel, the win­ner of last year’s race.

He has also won a Listed race over 1000 m and was se­cond to Red­kirk War­rior in the Light­ning Stakes ear­lier this year.

Redzel has won the first two run­nings of Aus­tralia’s rich­est race, The Ever­est, with Pier­ata un­der con­sid­er­a­tion for a slot a cou­ple of weeks out from the race last month.

Pier­ata’s own­ers, who in­clude his trainer Greg Hick­man, failed to reach an agree­ment and he ran in the Syd­ney Stakes on a wet Ever­est day, Oc­to­ber 13, record­ing a faster time than Redzel in the ma­jor race.

‘‘The time he ran is en­cour­ag­ing even though there was more rain be­tween his race and Redzel’s,’’ Hick­man said.

‘‘He hasn’t been down the straight, so it’s a bit of a ques­tion, but he is a horse who does ev­ery­thing you ask him to.

‘‘My main con­cern is how the track will play and if they all go to the same side. Pier­ata has plenty of gate speed and can hold his po­si­tion.

‘‘It’s a pretty elite field and there are a few chances in the race.

‘‘But he’s not there for the ex­pe­ri­ence.’’

Nei­ther Pier­ata nor Redzel has raced since Oc­to­ber 13, but both ran in an 850 m bar­rier trial at Rand­wick on Oc­to­ber 30. Redzel won the trial with Pier­ata work­ing home for third.

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