Jockey Tommy Berry believes that Neena Rock is capable of recording an upset win over Catkins in the 2014 Golden Pendant at Rosehill Gardens tomorrow.
Neena Rock made her Australian racing debut in the Group 3 Sheraco Stakes (1200m) at Rosehill Gardens on September 13 and the Fastnet Rock mare made up plenty of ground late to finish third behind Catkins and My Sabeel.
Berry told Racing Ahead that he was very impressed with the first-up performance of Neena Rock and he is confident that the six-year-old will produce an even stronger effort in the Group 3 Golden Pendant (1400m) this weekend.
“It was a very good run,” Berry said.
“She had to give Catkins a big start on that occasion and she meets her a little bit better in the weights.
“She is a lovely mare, I have been watching her for a while now.
“She has drawn a little bit awkward, so she is going to have to go back again, but it is a smaller field than she faced the other day and I think that she will have every opportunity to take Catkins down.
“Obviously Catkins is a quality mare and she will have to be at her best to beat her and hopefully Catkins might be a little bit flat after her good first-up run.”
Neena Rock is trained by John Sargent and Berry has also been booked to ride Kirramosa in the Group 3 Shannon Stakes (1500m) for the Royal Randwick-based trainer at Rosehill Gardens tomorrow.
Kirramosa has had a disrupted 2014 Spring Racing Carnival campaign to date due to the wet weather in Sydney and was not overly impressive in the Group 2 Theo Marks Stakes (1400m) at Rosehill Gardens on September 13, but Berry believes that the 2013 Crown Oaks winner will be very difficult to beat in the Shannon Stakes.
“You have to remember that she never had a trial leading up to her first-up run, so she was quiet fresh and ran very well,” Berry said.
“Second-up she was a little bit flat after running so well first-up, but third-up I expect her to run very well.
“She is obviously a quality mare and an Oaks winner and she has a perfect barrier.
“I think that she will be very hard to beat.”
Neena Rock is available at 2014 Golden Pendant odds of $11, while Kirramosa is at a quote of $13 to take out the Shannon Stakes.