Trainer Greg Hickman is hoping his Magic Millions 3yo Guineas winner Pierata can turn the tables on his nemesis Kementari when they clash again in the Group 2 $200,000 Missile Stakes (1200m) at Randwick on Saturday.
Pierata and the James Cummings trained Kementari are two of the nine nominations for the weight for age Missile Stakes and will line up against each other again after two meetings during the 2018 Sydney Autumn Carnival.
Kementari has a two nil score line over Pierata after the pair ran the quinella in the Group 2 $400,000 Hobartville Stakes (1400m) at Rosehill and in the Group 1 $1m Mostyn Copper Group Randwick Guineas (1600m) at Randwick.
Pierata was one of the stars of the Queensland Summer Racing Carnival with wins in the Group 3 $200,000 Vo Rogue Plate (1350m) at Doomben in December and in the $2m Magic Millions 3yo Guineas (1400m) at the Gold Coast in January and Hickman said a tough Summer campaign contributed to his defeats over the Sydney Autumn Carnival.
“Pierata had a hard Queensland campaign and was on the way down when he met Kementari who was still on the way up,” Hickman told AAP.
“I’m happy with where Pierata is after two nice trials. He has strengthened up and has always got his head in the feed bin which is a good sign.”
Hickman said a stunning return by Pierata could see connections push for a slot in the $13m The Everest (1200m) at Randwick on October 13 but his main priority was to win a Group 1 trophy with the Pierro colt and then secure a stud deal.
“But my target is to get a Group One win with him and a stud deal,” Hickman said.
“There has been interest from studs and that’s the primary goal.
“Where we head depends on what he does on Saturday.”
Early betting for the Missile Stakes at Ladbrokes.com.au has Pierata as the second pick at $5 behind Kementari who has been posted as the $2.25 favourite.
Pre-post betting for the 2018 Missile Stakes at Ladbrokes.com.au: $2.25 Kementari, $5 Pierata, $6 Egyptian Symbol, Music Magnate, $7.50 Showtime, $12 She Will Reign, $16 Lanciato, Takedown, $34 Boss Lane.