Jockey Tommy Berry is going to Randwick tomorrow confident that he will be winning his first Group 1 with a strong book of rides on Doncaster Mile day.
Berry will team up with the powerful Gai Waterhouse stable in two Group 1s with Nobby Snip in the $350,000 The James Boag Galaxy(1100m) and the three year old Niagara in the $2m Doncaster Mile (1600m).
The young jockey is the stable’s number two rider behind Nash Rawiller and is always grateful to be given a chance to partner one of Waterhouse’s winning chances in any race.
“I’d be quite disappointed I went home without a winner, and my first Group 1 would be great, but whatever comes I’ll take,” Berry said.
“Nobby Snip is definitely up to it and it’s his best chance of winning a Group 1 and probably my best chance as well.”
But Nobby Snip in facing a huge step up in class after winning all three starts this time in, his latest at Randwick on March 17 in the Listed $100,000 McGrath Eskimo Prince Stakes over 1200m.
Waterhouse then gave the three year a freshened up in preparation for his tilt at the Galaxy which has pulled together a smart field of sprinters.
Nobby Snip, who is $6 in the early market is pushing the Victorian Bel Sprinter for favouritism, who is at $5.50.
Sydney’s wet weather won’t worry the three year old, having been undefeated from three starts on slow and heavy tracks.
Ironically Berry was aboard Fast Snip when he beat his Doncaster Mile mount Niagara in the Eskimo Prince on a slow track.
“I think he is a great chance, it’s not the strongest Galaxy we’ve ever seen and he’s only got 52kg on his back,” Berry said.
“We’ve got a perfect draw, he loves Randwick and he loves all kinds of conditions and you can’t fault his form at the moment.”
“Randwick gives him plenty of time to balance up and he is really a horse that really lets down well once he is balanced.”
Niagara shot into Doncaster calculations with an impressive three and a half length win over Star Of Octagonal in the Group 2 $175,000 Hyland Race Colours Ajax Stakes (1500m) at Rosehill on March 31 but then disappointed when a well beaten twelfth in the Group 1 $400,000 Daily Telegraph George Ryder Stakes (1500m) at Rosehill on April 7.
The Encosta De Lago three year old was sent out favourite in the George Ryder but Berry said you should forgot the run after he was unable to get into his usual rhythm in the weight for age race and will be better suited by the strong tempo of the Doncaster.
He has maintained his place in Doncaster betting at $8.50 with Shoot Out while stable mate More Joyous is holding her spot at the top of the betting with Secret Admirer at $6.50.
“I think you’ve got to scrap his last run,” Berry said.
“I know he has drawn out wide but that’s not going to worry him, you’re going to want to be out wide, and he likes a bit of room so he should get a nice run up near the lead.”
Berry will also be on Magic Millions winner Driefontein in the Listed $100,000 Brookfield Multiplex Keith Mackay Quality (1200m) after the two year old’s ninth in the Group 1 $3.5m AAMI Golden Slipper (1200m) at Rosehill on April 7.
And the promising stayer Western Symbol will be heading to Brisbane for the major staying races if he can maintain his form in the Listed $100,000 Japan Racing Association Plate (2000m) after winning at his two runs back from a spell.