Left without a ride following the scratching of early favourite The Offer last week, in-form hoop Tommy Berry has been confirmed to partner Macedon Lodge entrant Sea Moon in the Melbourne Cup 2014 at Flemington on Tuesday, and is confident he can help the classy six-year-old return to competitive form.
UPDATE: An elevated temperature on Monday morning has forced owner Lloyd Williams to scratch Sea Moon from the final field of the Melbourne Cup 2014.
Securing six wins and a further four minor places from his 18 competitive appearances on course so far, Sea Moon was set for the 2013 edition of the Melbourne Cup over his maiden Australian campaign, and while finishing a close second in the Listed Bart Cummings (2520m) and winning the Group 2 Herbert Power Stakes (2400m) in the lead-up, was unable to match the late pace of eventual champion Fiorente, finishing twelfth.
Yet to partner the Beat Hollow entire competitively, Berry is confident the form line displayed by Sea Moon in seasons gone by suggests lining up for the 2014 Melbourne Cup third-up is optimal for a successful tilt.
“I really like its form, last preparation when it got to third up it started performing quite well, obviously second in the Bart Cummings and won its following start in the Herbert Power so it seems to perform third up quite well,” Berry said following the Melbourne Cup barrier draw.
“Blinkers go on which gives me a lot of confidence and the Williams camp really know how to get horses ready for the Melbourne Cup.”
Thrilled to have picked up the ride on Sea Moon after The Offer’s scratching early last week, Berry said he is hoping to repay the faith shown in him by the Williams camp on Tuesday.
“I’m so excited; I’ve ridden in it the last two years and you never get sick of riding in the Melbourne Cup that’s for sure,” Berry added.
“To get a chance to ride for the Williams team, very excited about that … it’s great to be here this time of year, there’s just such a great buzz around the place.”
Beginning his racing career under the guidance of renowned British trainer Sir Michael Stoute before being purchased by Lloyd Williams and Macedon Lodge with a view towards Melbourne Cup appearances at the conclusion of his 2012 racing campaign, Sea Moon is yet to register much of a competitive or consistent run of form over his two starts this time in; finishing fifth in the Bart Cummings first-up before failing to beat a single runner home in the Group 1 Caulfield Cup (2400m) most recently on October 18th.
Having reportedly progressed well from his luckless Caulfield Cup appearance, Sea Moon will jump from the somewhat wide and awkward barrier 18 in the Melbourne Cup 2014 and is available at a particularly generous quote of $151 for success with Ladbrokes Australia.