Group One races and stud deals await glamour colt Pierata after he delivered a bonanza result for his connections by winning the Magic Millions Guineas at the Gold Coast.
Bought for $160,000, Pierata earned the richest pay day in Queensland racing history when his owners pocketed $1.7 million in prize money and bonuses for winning Saturday’s Guineas (1400m).
In addition to the $1.2 million first prize, Pierata earned another $500,000 for claiming the 3yo Summer Triple Crown for winning three of four designated races including the Millions.
Starting the $2.80 favourite, Pierata burst through a gap under Corey Brown in the straight to defeat Goodfella ($11) by 1-1/2 lengths with Calculated ($13) 1-1/4 lengths away third.
“He hit the line super the one time we tried him at the mile in the J J Atkins and if he strengthens up a bit he’ll just be better again,” Hickman said.
“I’d love to run him in a race like the Doncaster but he’ll go to the paddock now and we’ll just look after him before we work out a plan.”
Hickman said it was too early to reveal which studs were front runners to stand Pierata when his racing career ends but he expected interest to skyrocket in the next 12 months.
“There’s been a couple of them knocking on the door but after today’s win I reckon we’ll be hearing from a lot more from them,” he said.
Hickman said racegoers still haven’t seen the best of Pierata.
“The reason I’ve been a little bit negative about him is because I don’t know how good he is,” he said.
“The other topline horses I’ve had, they’ve always shown me how good they were from the word go but he’s just go so much improvement left to come it’s not funny.”
Pierata’s win was also a personal triumph for Hickman, who won last year’s Magic Millions Fillies and Mares with Private Secretary.
“It’s just shown people that our stable can do it and it’s not just me but this is for all the people involved from the girl who rides him trackwork, to the owners, my staff and my wife at home,” he said.
“The boys at the track will be getting prawns at Warwick Farm when I get home, so they’ll be happy.”
Hickman admitted he felt the pressure to win the Guineas which has been a graveyard for favourites in previous years.
“You set these horses for these races and there’s nothing worse when everything goes right and it doesn’t come off,” he said.
“I mean you handle it, everyone has to handle it, but it’s such an achievement to do this over eight weeks going backwards and forwards.
“The horse hasn’t put a foot wrong. Everything has gone perfect.”