Tommy Berry starts his Spring Carnival preparations at the Randwick barrier trials on Friday as he puts some of his top contenders through their paces.
Berry has taken a short break following the conclusion of the Hong Kong Jockey Club’s racing season but will be on hand on Friday to ride fifteen of Gai Waterhouse’s team in the trials.
“I’m booked in for fifteen trials, ten for Gai Waterhouse including The Offer and Sweet Idea among others,” Berry told Racing Network.
“It has been good to have a nice little break, I’ve had a few things to get sorted, spent time with the family and I’ve also moved house.
“But in saying that, I’m looking forward to getting back in to it, I’ve got some nice rides and am looking forward to the spring carnival.”
The first ride of his marathon morning will be Melbourne Cup favourite The Offer who is set to line up against five other Waterhouse trained gallopers, Bonfire, Danas Best, Giuliani, Hippopus and Lightning Point plus the John Sargent trained My Mestari and Senta Helga from the Anthony Cummings stable over 1200m.
The Offer struck a purple patch of form during the Sydney Autumn Carnival with a hat track of wins which kicked off with a victory in the Group 3 Ambassador Travel N E Manion Cup (2400m) at Rosehill on March 29.
The Irish import then stepped up to Group 2 level with another impressive win in the $300,000 Schweppes Chairman’s Handicap (2600m) at Randwick on April 12 and then forced bookmakers to install him as the 2014 Melbourne Cup favourite following his three and three quarter lengths win in the Group 1 $500,000 Schweppes Sydney Cup (3200m) at Randwick on April 27.
In Melbourne Cup betting with Ladbrokes.com.au, The Offer is marked at $15, just ahead of the European stayers Telescope at $17 and Brown Panther at $18.
Berry is also keen to get back on Sweet Idea after the pair combined to win the Group 2 $175,000 Red Lea Chickens Light Fingers Stakes (1200m) at Randwick in the early part of the Sydney Autumn Carnival.
Sweet Idea will go around in heat nine over 1050m against five others, including stable mate Forever Loved.
Another one of Waterhouse’s high profile gallopers to trial is Diamond Drille who will be going around in the third trial over 1050m.
Berry and Diamond Drille combined in the Autumn Carnival to win the Group 1 $1m Cellarbrations Queen Of The Turf Stakes (1600m) at Randwick on April 19, the second day of ‘The Championships’.
Berry had a very successful year in the saddle, currently third on the Sydney jockey’s premiership with fifty-six winners as well as riding twenty-five winners in Hong Kong during a short riding stint at the end of the season.
The ever improving young jockey also rode four Group 1 winners in Australia and as well as The Offer in the Sydney Cup and Diamond Drille in the Queen Of The Turf Stakes, took out the $500,000 Tatts Group J.J. Atkins (1600m) at Eagle Farm on June 7 on Almalad and the $500,000 Sky Racing Tattersall’s Tiara (1400m) at Eagle Farm on June 21 on Cosmic Endeavour all for the Waterhouse stable.
Berry also collected three Group 1 wins in Hong Kong with Designs On Rome in the HK$14m The Audemars Piguet QEII Cup (2000m), the HK$16m The BMW Hong Kong Derby (2000m) and the HK$6m The Hong Kong Classic Cup (1800m) as well as two Group 1 wins in Singapore, the S$1.35m Longines Singapore Gold Cup (2200m) on Tropaios and the S$3m Singapore Airlines International Cup (2000m) on Dan Excel.