Joint Everest favourite Pierata has impressed race jockey Tommy Berry in his second last gallop ahead of the $14 million Group One sprint spectacular.
Trainer Greg Hickman initially planned to work Pierata between races during Monday’s Warwick Farm meeting.
Unable to find a galloping partner, he opted to instead put the five-year-old through his paces in the early morning.
Pierata wore blinkers and pleased Hickman with his hit-out.
“Tommy came out and rode him,” he told Sky Sports Radio.
“He said ‘I don’t think you can get him any fitter’. His work was super. He pulled up good. (I’m) pretty happy.”
“We tried to make it as authentic as what we could (with the blinkers) to switch him on to do a bit. It worked.”
Hickman flagged a final, lighter lead-up gallop for Pierata next Tuesday over three furlongs (600m).
Pierata was installed as the top Everest chance after claiming the Group Two The Shorts on September 21 ahead of Classique Legend and two-time Everest winner Redzel.
Hickman remains confident Pierata is fit and firing for the third running of the 1200m The Everest at Sydney’s Randwick Racecourse on October 19.
“His two runs in have been really good,” he said.
“He lost 10 kilos off his first run, lost five off his second run. His recovery and everything’s been good from whatever he’s done.
“We are in a good space at the moment.”
While Pierata rested, Everest rivals Sunlight ($9) and Santa Ana Lane ($5) reaffirmed their credentials with a one-two finish in Saturday’s Gilgai Stakes.
Sydney-based Hickman kept an eye on the field over the weekend, but is keen to focus on his own stable.
“They all went really, really good,” he said
“That’s the type of race it is. I’m just concentrating on my black horse here to make sure we’ve got everything ticked.
“If we don’t do well, it’s not going to be because of what we’ve done in the stable.”
Aquis confirmed last week it had cemented a controlling share in Pierata who will stand at its Hunter Valley farm in 2020.