Magic Millions Guineas winner Pierata returns to action in the Group 2 Hobartville Stakes.
Pierata is the highest prize money earner among the Hobartville Stakes nominations but his trainer Greg Hickman admits he still has a bit to prove in the Group 2 race.
And he believes he can when he lines up against a field which will include dual Group One winner Ace High, Golden Rose winner Trapeze Artist and Godolphin’s Kementari.
The bulk of Pierata’s almost $2 million has been earned in Queensland with the colt claiming last month’s sales-restricted Magic Millions Guineas at the Gold Coast and a $500,000 bonus for winning three races over the summer carnival.
“He’s got to step up to the big boys one day and Saturday will tell us where we are,” Hickman said.
“He only had a fortnight off after the Magic Millions so we have’t had to do too much.
“Everything is perfect with him. He is a very good horse and when a jockey like Corey Brown says he wants to be on him every start then that tells you something.”
The TAB issued a market when the 17 entries were taken on Monday with last-start Eskimo Prince Stakes winner Kementari the $2.30 favourite ahead of Trapeze Artist at $4.60, D’Argento $7 and Pierata at $8.
All going well, Pierata will step up from 1400 metres on Saturday to the 1600 of the Randwick Guineas two weeks later.
Hickman is also hoping to have his first Golden Slipper runner this year but whether Knievel makes his debut in Saturday’s Silver Slipper or waits a few days has yet to be decided.
“There’s a two-year-old race at Rosehill on Wednesday week so he could wait for that,” he said.
“It’s a pity he wasn’t up and running a bit earlier.
“He will either run on Saturday and then the Todman Stakes or wait for Rosehill and still go to the Todman.
“I’ve never had a Slipper runner so it would be good if he could get there.”
There were 13 entries taken on Monday for the Group Two Silver Slipper headed by Magic Millions Classic winner Sunlight who is the $2.80 favourite over debut winner Estijaab at $3.50.