High flying jockey Tommy Berry has finally conceded that Cosmic Endeavour is up to Group 1 class as the filly prepares to tackle the top grade for the first time in the $500,000 Sky Racing Tattersall’s Tiara (1400m) at Eagle Farm on Saturday.
The Hong Kong based Berry is making another flying visit to Eagle Farm to partner Cosmic Endeavour who he has steered to three of her five wins.
Berry competed a hit and run mission at Eagle Farm two weeks ago on Stradbroke Handicap Day and rode a treble for Gai Waterhouse, winning on Almalad in the Group 1 $500,000 Tatts Group J.J. Atkins (1600m), on two year old Sports Edition in the Listed $100,000 Ambassador Travel Hampden Stakes (1200m) and on Cosmic Endeavour in the Group 2 $200,000 VIRBAC Animal Health Dane Ripper Stakes (1400m).
Berry knew that the Waterhouse trained filly had above average ability from her early days but thought that she would only reach Group 2 level.
But the Northern Meteor filly has continued to improve and is highly rated as she is set to take on some high quality fillies and mares in the final Group 1 race of the 2013 – 2014 racing season.
“I thought she would reach Group 2 level really early on after she won her first run back at Rosehill,” Berry told the Sportsman.
“She had a couple of disappointing runs, which let me down a bit because I had high hopes for her, but she went on to what I thought she could do.”
“At that stage I thought a Group 1 would have been above her but this is a nice line up for her and it’s not the strongest Group 1 in the world.”
The in-form Cosmic Endeavour has won three of her last four starts and got the nod for the Tattersall’s Tiara after beating stablemate Driefontein in the Dane Ripper Stakes at Eagle Farm two weeks ago.
She had previously won the Group 2 $300,000 Drummond Golf Sapphire Stakes (1200m) at Randwick on April 19 four starts back and then two runs later won the $400,000 Inglis 3yo Guineas (1400m) at Scone on May 17 before coming to Brisbane.
Cosmic Endeavour will be clashing again with Driefontein and will be facing tough competition from the Chris Waller trained pair of last year’s Tattersall’s Tiara winner Red Tracer and the ever consistent Catkins as well Coolmore Classic winner Steps In Time.
Berry can see the race panning out in his favour from barrier five with the expected pace in the race coming from his inside.
Noted front runner Steps In Time has drawn barrier two while Catkins, gate one, and Driefontein from gate three have both shown early speed in the past.
“A lot of the pace has drawn inside me which is good because I’ll be able to sit third, fourth or fifth where we were the other day and she should have no excuses.”
Cosmic Endeavour and Red Tracer are currently the $4.80 equal favourites for the Tattersall’s Tiara with Ladbrokes.com.au, just ahead of Catkins at $5.50 and Steps In Time at $6.
Driefontein is next in the betting at $11 with the much improved Avoid Lightning marked as a $14 chance.