Slot Holder: Aquis

Breeding: Pierro – November Flight
Trainer: Greg Hickman
Owners: Mr G D Hickman, Mr R W Wilson, 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, Miss T A Powers
Regular jockey: Tommy Berry
Prizemoney: $3,629,700  
Career: 21-8:6:2 



Just when we thought we’d seen the last of Pierata, Aquis decided not to stand the entire at stud this spring and instead have confirmed him as their runner in Australia’s richest race, to be run at Royal Randwick on October 19. He was retired just days after Tommy Berry drove him to a popular win in the Group 1 All Aged Stakes (1400m) but trainer Greg Hickman is excited to have his stable star back and is adamant the best of the horse will be seen as a five-year-old.

“He’s only going to get stronger and better, I’m over the moon,’’ Hickman said, “You don’t get this opportunity. I’m a small stable and you don’t get many opportunities to get a horse like him.

It’s the second year running that Aquis has moved first to secure an Everest runner – last year Trapeze Artist was locked in just days after he won the All Aged Stakes.

Last spring Pierata won the Group 3 Sydney Stakes, the Everest consolation, in quicker time than Redzel won the main event and that sparked some speculation as to how he would have performed in The Everest. He was Group 1 placed twice after Everest day, in the VRC Sprint Classic and his nose defeat in The Galaxy, before finally cracking it for the stallion making win to take his record to seven wins from 19 starts. Hickman said it was a bold move by Aquis to delay Pierata’s retirement until the 2020 breeding season but it’s also a reflection of the esteem the horse is held in.

“I know in my heart he hasn’t had a taxing preparation this time in and we have a very talented horse,’’ he said, “People have underestimated this horse all the way along. The thing about this horse is no matter how hard he runs he comes home and licks the bin out.’’