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Trainer Greg Hickman’s stable star Pierata was able to turn the tables on the Godolphin owned Kementari with a head win in the Group 2 $200,000 Missile Stakes (1200m) at Randwick last Saturday.

Pierata, above in red, yellow and blue colours, holds off Kementari in the Godolphin royal blue colours to win the Missile Stakes at Randwick. Photo by Steve Hart.

Pierata, above in red, yellow and blue colours, holds off Kementari in the Godolphin royal blue colours to win the Missile Stakes at Randwick. Photo by Steve Hart.

The James Cummings trained Kementari had the wood on Pierata with two wins over the Hickman trained stallion at their last two meetings 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 during the 2018 Sydney Autumn Carnival.

Hickman had been confident in the lead up to the Missile Stakes for a reversal of the placings and aided by a first class ride from James McDonald, Pierata was able to hold off the fast finishing Kementari in the run to the line.

“The ride got him there, it was a 10 out of 10. He might get a tap on the shoulder for pushing in though,” Hickman said.

“The big difference was we were fresh and not coming off a big Brisbane campaign to take on Kementari. We had the luck today and we turned the tables.

“I was going to run in this and then the Winx (Stakes) but I don’t want to bust him.”

Hickman is hoping Pierata  will be called upon to fill one of the remaining slots in the $13m The Everest (1200m) at Randwick on October 13 and is going to set the four year old another tough task when he takes on super star Winx in the Group 1 $500,000 Winx Stakes (1400m) at Randwick on August 18.

McDonald had Pierata ($4.40) quickly out of the barriers and took up a forward position behind the leader The Monstar while Kementari was slightly slow to leave the gates and Glyn Schofield had to settle in the middle of the pack and ride for luck.

Pierata was into the clear in the early part of the straight while Schofield was held up for a while when trying to secure a run on Kementari ($2.40 favourite) from the inside of Takedown.

Kementari was doing his best work over the concluding stages but the post arrived too quickly.

“He flashed home strongly. Once he found a run he chased hard and has come back in super order,” Schofield said.

“We didn’t purposely fire him out because there is long way to go in his preparation. He came out with them, got into a nice enough spot and got a bit tightened after a furlong but finished his race off well.”

Cummings was more than pleased with Kementari’s first up performance and while he was also testing the waters for The Everest he is also looking to start the Lonhro stallion in the Group 1 $1m Memsie Stakes (1400m) at Caulfield on September 1.

“It was a huge run the way he sprinted at the finish was very impressive,” Cummings said.

“We’re really pleased by the way he has returned and he’s given us a lot of confidence for the coming spring.

“He’s pulled up really well and he’ll take great improvement from that run.”

“We like the look of the G1 Memsie Stakes for his next run.”

In current markets for the 2018 The Everest at Ladbrokes.com.au Kementari is marked at $11 with Pierata listed at $21 while the Gerald Ryan trained Trapeze Artist is the $4.50 favourite.

Early betting for the 2018 The Everest at Ladbrokes.com.au: $4.50 Trapeze Artist, $6 Nature Strip, Vega Magic, $6.50 Redzel, $11 Kementari, U S Navy Flag, In Her Time, $13 Santa Ana Lane, Shoals, $15 Brave Smash, $21 English, Pierata, $26 Happy Clapper, $31 She Will Reign, Invincible Star, $41 Winx, Showtime, $51 or better the rest.

About The Author

Mark Mazzaglia

Mark is a passionate journalist with a life-time involvement in the racing industry. He spent many years as an analyst and form expert at the Courier Mail and also has hands-on experience working with some of Queensland’s top trainers.