Tommy Berry’s decision to ride Reuben Percival in tomorrow’s Listed $100,000 Vili’s Pies Australia Day Cup (2400m) at Warwick Farm is based on the gelding’s good Spring form.
Berry had the choice of the Gai Waterhouse pair of Travolta and Reuben Percival and is banking on the six year old racing up to his Spring Carnival form which saw him placed at Group 1 and Group 2 level.
Reuben Percival produced the best run of his career when third to stablemate Glencadam Gold and Kelinni in the Group 1 $400,000 McGrath Estate Agents Metropolitan (2400m) at Randwick on October 6.
Waterhouse then sent the Al Akbar stayer to Melbourne where he managed to hold his form with a second to Vatuvei in the Group 2 $250,000 Drake International Cup (2500m) at Moonee Valley on October 27 and followed that up with a second to Ibicenco in the Listed $150,000 Sportingbet Sandown Cup (3200m) at Sandown on November 17.
Berry was keen to get back on Reuben Percival after the six year old beat him home when ridden by James McDonald to finish second to Moriarty when he rode Travolta to finish third in the Listed $125,000 Gosford Quarries Gosford Gold Cup (2100m) at Gosford on January 10.
“It was my choice completely,” Berry said.
“His run was better than Travolta’s the other day and he was first up over 2100m.”
“He was second up last preparation when he ran third in the Metropolitan behind Glencadam Gold over 2400m so following from that the 2400m second up would suit him perfectly in easier grade.”
“I’m confident he can repeat that performance and this ain’t no Metropolitan Handicap.”
To enhance Berry’s decision is the fact that the two stayers that beat Reuben Percival in the Metropolitan went on to perform well in the Group 1 $6m Emirates Melbourne Cup (3200m) at Flemington on November 6 with Kelinni finishing fourth to Green Moon and Glencadam Gold battling on in the straight to hold onto sixth spot after leading for most of the way.
Berry admits that at this stage there is not much between Reuben Percival and Travolta, but is happy to be back aboard the six year old.
“I’ve always liked Reuben Percival and I haven’t had a chance to get on him for a while because we’ve had other horses in the race,” Berry said.
“I stuck with Travolta last time because I won on him at Canterbury but still there’s not much between them.”
Reuben Percival in the top pick of Waterhouse’s four Australia Day Cup runners and has come up the $4.20 favourite ahead of stablemates Travolta at $6.50, Tullamore at $17 and one of the outsiders of the field Power Broker at $34.
Peter Snowden’s pair, Angelus ($8.50) and Yulalona ($9) are the only other runners under double figures.