In-form Sydney hoop Tommy Berry is bullish over his chances of winning the traditional Golden Rose lead-up this weekend having secured the prized mount on race favourite Bull Point.
Gai Waterhouse’s smart Fastnet Rock colt is the early $3.10 top fancy to take out the $100,000 Listed The Rosebud (1200m) at Royal Randwick on Saturday having won two of their three starts to date.
Their most recent effort was a very tidy three length win over Mr Entertainer in the $85,000 Forum Group 2YO Handicap (1200m) at Rosehill on July 20.
For their hat trick of runs to date Bull Point has been ridden by Waterhouse’s stable ace Nash Rawiller.
With Rawiller opting to ride a non-Waterhouse-trained rival in The Rosebud however Berry was quick to get in contact with the top trainer and get himself booked on the progressive three-year-old.
He’s now eager to get in the saddle for The Rosebud which is likely to lead Bull Point to a run in the Sydney Spring Racing Carnival’s three-year-olds’ classic – the $1 million Group 1 Golden Rose Stakes (1400m) on Saturday September 14.
“He’s come right on (since his last run),” Berry said of Bull Point according to racenet.com.au.
“He was always a bit behind the other two-year-olds and this little break has done him the world of good.
“Some of the other horses in this race have come out and done it naturally from day one whereas this bloke has improved with each start.”
Rawiller meanwhile will be aboard $4 fancy Watabout, Allan Denham’s More Than Ready filly after her fourth straight win.
Her latest two have been by a combined five lengths over 1250m (Canterbury) and 1300m (Randwick) respectively with Rawiller aboard for both.
“She’s (Watabout) pretty bombproof whereas my bloke is still doing a few things wrong so you can understand why Nash has elected to go for the filly,” Berry said.
“But I’m wondering if the slow beginning that has become a custom of Bull Point will be a bad thing.
“Randwick hasn’t proven to be a frontrunners track of late. You need cover before launching and from barrier two I should be able to get that.”
Waterhouse, who will also be represented by Northern Glory ($9) in The Rosebud, also has a high opinion of Bull Point and has nominated him for a number of the Melbourne Spring Racing Carnival majors.
He’s in the mix for the $1 million Group 1 The BECK Caulfield Guineas (1600m) on October 12 and could end up going all-the-way to Australasia’s weight-for-age championship with the $3 million Group 1 Sportingbet Cox Plate (2040m) at Moonee Valley on October 26.
Waterhouse had a very strong chance in last spring’s Cox Plate lining-up her star colt Pierro who held on to run a brave third behind Kiwi raider Ocean Park and another then three-year-old All Too Hard.
Australian bookmakers still need convincing of Bull Point’s Cox Plate credentials however and are paying $41 for them to win.
Bull Point’s only career defeat at this stage was at the hands of the James & Bart Cummings-trained Eurozone when three quarters of a length away second to the Northern Meteor colt at Rosehill on July 6.
Eurozone hasn’t run since that win but backs up in The Rosebud carrying 57kg’s to Bull Point’s 58kg.
“Bull Point was very green that day,” Berry said of the defeat.
“He’s matured since then and will perform considerably better on Saturday so Eurozone will have needed to have improved if he’s going to beat us again.
“But, as always luck in running will play a vital key. I think Randwick will suit Bull Point better than Rosehill, which is the only place he’s been beaten.”