Class prevailed when Pierata dominated the $500,000, Group 3 Camera House (1200m) at Randwick on Saturday with the Greg Hickman trained four-year-old going away from the field to win by 2 3/4L.
Berry had Pierata in third outside the leader Jungle Edge and Ben Melham and Dothraki and Jay Ford as they went past the 500m and it was essentially all over the moment they went up the hill at the 400m.
Racing in the middle of track Berry waited as he eased Pierata up alongside Jungle Edge and then he sent the Pierro entire clear at the 300m and the rest were left behind.
The wet track specialist Jungle Edge (Dubawi) kept going for second with Clearly Innocent (Not A Single Doubt) and Hugh Bowman third.
The time was 1.10.82 on the Heavy 9 track with the final 600m in 35.25. Pierata paid $4.40 on fixed odds and $4.10 on the tote as favourite.
Pierata and Tommy Berry, picture Sportpix.com.au
“We thought we might get over a bit more ground but maybe he doesn’t get a strong mile at that level. Winning over 1200m with blinkers on, his attitude was a lot better today. He looked enormous and it fitted him perfectly,” said Hickman
“He might be a bit stronger next time around. I just think 12/1400m might be the best of him.”
“That means a lot to me. I was born and bred at Warwick Farm so Greg (Hickman) has been a big part of my career. He gave me a lot of help early on and a lot of rides,” said Berry.
“To get on a good horse like this, I gave him his first ever trial and that is the last time I sat on him. I’m very, very happy. I was in the mix early on and things just didn’t align. They asked me to ride him once but I was still booked for Chautauqua at that stage.
“He was just the class horse in the race. I said to connections that if we were wide I was just going to keep him comfortable and keep him going through his gears.
“I knew I was going to win around the corner because he dipped quite bad just before the bend. Usually when they do that and aren’t handling it they drop the bit. He picked it straight up, got on with the job and made it look too easy for me,” he said.
Pierata, out of the Flying Spur mare November Flight, was coming off a ninth in the Group 1 Epsom Handicap over 1600m on September 29th. Back in class and distance he was too smart for this group.
This was his sixth win from 14 starts and with five placings he has earned stakes of $2,690,550 for owners co-owner Hickman and Mr R W Wilson, Mr R J Coleman, Mr W S Clegg, Dr G A Clegg, Mrs C E Clegg, Mr A A Gianesi, Mr A Merritt, Mr K B Ayton, Mr B R Turton, Mr M T Mathews, Mr C J Testa, Mr V Sikais, Steelies Racing, Mr T R Bonello, Mr J M Zammit, Mr M Aurisch, Mr A P Carney and Miss T A Powers.
Sydney Stakes, photo finish picture ATC
What the beaten jockeys said:
Hugh Bowman (Clearly Innocent): “It was a good run, it’s good to have him back.”
Jay Ford (Dothraki): “Travelled really well but was first horse beat.”
Ben Melham (Jungle Edge): “Ran out of his skin, he ran enormous, took a good one to beat him on the day.”
Josh Parr (Burning Passion): “Nice effort, he just ran out of condition.”
Brenton Avdulla (Tactical Advantage): “He ran well, but he just struggles to let go in that ground, it just takes the brilliance off him.”
Andrew Adkins (Boss Lane): “It was a good run by him, he enjoyed that track, it was a shame we couldn’t get into a better spot earlier, he was chasing home a very nice horse, it was a good run by him.”
Mitchel Bell (Snippets Land): “That track just wasn’t suitable for him, especially over 1200m they were a bit sharp for him, but I didn’t mind the way he hit the line, it wasn’t a bad effort.”
Kerrin McEvoy (Kemono): “He didn’t go in the ground.”
Tim Clark (Sold For Song): “A little bit outclassed, probably looking for 1400m.”
Tommy Berry, picture Sportpix.com.au