A proud Greg Hickman will farewell Pierata from his Warwick Farm stable with mixed feelings after the five-year-old went down by a half head in his final race start.
Pierata, who will join the Aquis Farm stallion roster, was caught by Tofane on the line in his defence of the Group One All Aged Stakes (1400m) at Randwick on Saturday.
“That was cruel. Just cruel,” Hickman said.
“I thought he had it but he found a horse a nose better than him on the day.
“He has been just a great horse to us and he has gone out running one of his best races.
“I can go to bed tonight knowing he was at his best. I just wish he had won.”
His jockey Tommy Berry, who grew up at Warwick Farm and is a long-time friend of Hickman, was also disappointed not to win, but certainly not disappointed with the horse.
“I’m a bit emotional to speak about him now because it is going to be his last time,” Berry said.”
“I’ve ridden horses that have won more Group Ones than him but I don’t think I have ridden many that have tried as hard.
“He put everything on the line today and that’s why I thought I might have got there.
“He’s just got that never-say-die attitude. I rode him a little bit out of his comfort zone because we had to out of the gate.
“He travelled like a champion and it took a good horse to beat him today.
“Those fighting qualities he holds will hold him in good stead when he goes to stud.”
A $160,000 yearling, Pierata retires from racing with nine wins and nine placings from his 26 starts and more than $5.8 million prize money.