Jockey Tommy Berry is confident that the speedy Our Boy Malachi is ready to give his all when he kicks off his 2016 Autumn Carnival in the Group 2 $200,000 Expressway Stakes (1200m) at Rosehill on Saturday.
Berry was Our Boy Malachi’s regular rider during his 2015 Autumn and Winter campaigns and has been aboard the seven year old in two recent barrier trials in the lead up to his return to the racetrack.
The former North Queensland sprinter, now trained by Team Hawkes at Rosehill, was having his public outing since suffering from a bleeding attack when last of sixteen in the Group 1 $750,000 James Boag’s Premium Doomben 10000 (1350m) at Doomben on May 23, when he showed a clean set of heels to record a three lengths Rosehill trial win over 900m on January 16.
But things didn’t go to plan in his Warwick Farm trial on Monday when he bungled the start and trailed the field around in ninth place.
But Berry wasn’t perturbed and said that Our Boy Malachi always does his best on race day and will be in the firing line in the Expressway Stakes.
“He’s back as good as he could be. He is very honest and he gives you his all every time he goes around,” Berry told the Puntersshow.com.au.
“He missed the kick by one or two lengths which he doesn’t usually do.”
“But he was a bit fractious in there being on the fresh side, and once he did do that I held him together at the back.”
“The track was surprising very heavy. He wasn’t overly happy in the ground coming around the corner so I kept him well on the bit. He had a nice blow when he pulled up.”
Co-trainer Wayne Hawkes dismissed any concerns after Our Boy Malachi followed the field around in the Warwick Farm barrier trial and suggested he was ready to produce his best on Saturday.
“Everything is good with him.” Wayne Hawkes said.
“Everyone panicked because he was slow away from the gates on Monday at the barrier trial. He got back and just had a real easy one.”
“He was trialling Monday and running Saturday so he just went out for a canter around.”
“He is great, great!”
Our Boy Malachi is the winner of seventeen of his twenty-one starts, including four for Team Hawkes and Berry said that the seven year old has the ability to claim a Group 1 title at some stage soon.
“I don’t think he can improve on too much on what he has done but hopefully he can find the right Group 1 where he can get over the line because he definitely deserves it.
Our Boy Malachi has drawn barrier four in the eight horse Expressway Stakes field and will come up against River Lad (8), Tiger Tees (1), Generalife (6), Big Money (2), Forget (3), Solicit (5) and King’s Troop (7).