Tommy Berry faces busy weekend of travel

Winning combination: Tommy Berry rides Almalad (green) to victory in Brisbane in June. Photo: Tertius Pickard Winning combination: Tommy Berry rides Almalad (green) to victory in Brisbane in June. Photo: Tertius Pickard

Winning combination: Tommy Berry rides Almalad (green) to victory in Brisbane in June. Photo: Tertius Pickard

Winning combination: Tommy Berry rides Almalad (green) to victory in Brisbane in June. Photo: Tertius Pickard

Tommy Berry will alternate between Melbourne and Sydney for three feature meetings this weekend but a ride for mum has kept him in Sydney for Friday’s Warwick Farm barrier trials.

Berry will link with Almalad in the Bill Stutt Stakes at Moonee Valley on Friday night before riding Golden Pendant day at Rosehill on Saturday and finishing the weekend with one of his favourites, Sweet Idea, in the Sir Rupert Clarke Stakes at Caulfield on Sunday.

However, maiden Aegina, trained by his father John Berry, is the main reason for Berry riding eight trials on Friday.

“Dad rang and was surprised I was staying for the trials,” Berry said. “I told him mum hadn’t given me much choice because they think this horse goes all right.

“It is good to be busy and to get the feel of a good one for dad is good as well. I don’t know if I will ride it in a race yet. We will have to wait and see how it goes.”

Berry will spend more about five hours on planes in four flights in about 60 hours after leaving Warwick Farm.

“This is what I have worked so hard for and it is these meetings I wanted to be riding at when I was growing up,” he said. “I always seem to ride better when I travel and it will be a busy three days but I’m riding some really nice horses.”

Gai Waterhouse has had Melbourne Cup favourite The Offer and Sweet Idea in Melbourne in recent weeks but her Melbourne stable will expand with a couple of handy three-year-olds ready to make their marks at Moonee Valley and Caulfield at the weekend.

JJ Atkins winner Almalad is in the Stutt Stakes while wayward three-year-old Liberation heads down for the Guineas Prelude at Caulfield before Sweet Idea chases an elusive group 1 in the Sir Rupert Clarke.

Almalad, which was a game fourth in the Golden Rose last start, looks like being Berry’s only ride at Moonee Valley as he gets to the mile for the first time in the spring.

“He is looking for a trip and 2000 metres and beyond is not going to worry him at all,” Berry said. “He was good in the Golden Rose and he should be a good start to the weekend.”

However, the three-year-old that Berry is excited about riding is Liberation. He lost a race when he ducked out in August and then caused havoc in the Up And Coming Stakes, where he looked the winner but ran out to ruin the chances of several other runners. He has since trialled to the satisfaction of stewards.

“He should arguably be unbeaten this preparation and is potentially the best colt in the country,” Berry said. “We don’t know why he does it but if he does everything right on Sunday he is going to be very hard to beat.

“You would never guess that he would run around like he does on race day from trackwork, where he is the quietest pony and very professional.

“The blinkers are going on on Sunday and he did everything right in the trial the other day so we are expecting good things from him.”

Berry is hoping the group 1 will finally come for Sweet Idea after seconds in the Coolmore Classic in the autumn and the Memsie Stakes last start.

“I can’t think of more deserving horse of group 1,” Berry said. “She has been doing it since she was a two-year-old. She was runner-up in the Magic Millions and third in a [Golden] Slipper. There are not many mares like her that just keep coming up every preparation.”

Berry will ride Valentia, Travolta, Donelle and Woodbine for Waterhouse at Rosehill, but his book is hightlighted by Neena Rock in the Golden Pendant and Kirramosa in the Shannon Stakes.

“It is going to be tough to be beat Catkins at the weights but Neena Rock took some good ground off her late in the Sheraco [Stakes] and the 1400m will probably suit her better,” Berry said.

“Kirramosa is ready to hit her peak. I know her second-up run looked a bit disappointing but she is a stayer and might have been a bit flat from her first run. The 1500m is more her trip.”

This story Administrator ready to work first appeared on Nanjing Night Net.