By Brad Gray
At Royal Randwick
Pierata Knocks The Door Down
Pierata's All Aged Stakes win was special for a lot of reasons.
Tommy Berry's association with Greg Hickman goes back to when Tommy and Nathan were just eight or nine years old.
“(Greg) is like family to us," said Berry, "I grew up with him and used to call him 'cowboy' when we were growing up.”
“It is very special. I’ve always remembered where I come from and I love riding for the trainers out there (Warwick Farm). You know how hard these guys work but they don’t get the credit they deserve.”
It was Pierata's eighth crack in Group One company and having come so agonisingly close in the Galaxy recently, it was nothing more than the four-year-old deserved.
“We’ve been knocking on the door for so long," said Hickman, "He’s been running the sectionals and in his work you could see he’s been improving in his coat and attitude. Tommy rode him 10 out of 10."
"A horse like this is life changing. I’ve got a little share in him which will help along the way."
How Castelvecchio Won The Champagne
Lady Lupino hummed along in front. You don't need Punters Intelligence to know that.
The filly ran her first 600m in 34.78s and her time for the first 1400m of the Champagne Stakes was quicker than the JHB Carr (1400m) overall won by Laburnum.
That suited Castelvecchio who lobbed along in midfield before again a devastating 400-200m split (11.12s), like we saw from him in the Sires' Produce Stakes last start, saw him level up to the leaders. This time though, there was still gas in the tank and he powered through the line with a last 200m of 12.01s.
His last 600m of 34.46 was 3.5L quicker than the next best in the race.
Another horse you want to mark down from the race is Anthony Cummings' maiden Prince Fawaz. At just his second career start jumping 400m in trip and sharply in grade, he found the line in 12.20s. Second to only Castelvecchio, as was his last 600m of 35s.
Be Brave Next Time
"He might prefer soft or heavy tracks."
That was what James Cummings said after he watched stablemate Trekking take out the G3 TAB Hall Mark Stakes (1200m).
Race favourite Home Of The Brave was cuddled in front but found others too sharp over 1200m first up. James McDonald added that the horse would come on from the run.
"He’s gone okay, he just needed the run like I thought, he’ll improve a lot off that," said McDonald.
If he strikes a wet track second up out to 1400m he'll be hard to beat but perhaps even more significantly, expect the tactics to be more aggressive. In his brilliant Theo Marks win last preparation it was all about momentum and he still finished off.
On the winner Trekking, Cummings said patience paid off waiting for a good track, "He was able to get his heart rate down and really let go for Kerrin unleashing that sprint."
Punters Enter The Abyss
Most eyes were on the luckless Into The Abyss in the JHB Carr Stakes (1400m) at Randwick but the filly you want to be throwing into your blackbook is Asharani.
The Kris Lees-trained galloper was replated before the race, which according to jockey Brenton Avdulla, contributed to her stepping away slowly. Plan A was to be positive, but instead she found herself out the back.
“She ran terrific, I just hate horses getting re-plated, they never step cleanly and go and she’s one of them," quipped Avdulla.
Punters Intelligence reveals Asharani ran her last 600m in 33.97s, some 1.5L quicker than Into The Abyss (34.23s). Both gallopers didn't get the clearest of passages in the straight.
Into The Abyss looks ready to win out to 1400 third up and punters have reacted!
— Racing NSW (@racing_nsw) April 20, 2019