Young Sydney jockey Tommy Berry hopes his good luck continues when he rides Manawanui in the Group 1 $500,000 Royal Randwick Guineas (1600m) at Randwick on Saturday.
Berry came off a winning treble at Gosford last Friday to take out the Listed $200,000 Mercedes Benz (Canberra) Canberra Cup (2000m) on Fill The Page for local trainer Barbara Joseph at Canberra on Sunday.
The Manawanui ride became available when regular rider Glyn Schofield was suspended, allowing Berry to reunite with the three year old.
Berry was aboard Manawanui when he won a two year old Handicap (1250m) at Canterbury in May last year and again two starts back when resuming from a spell when an unlucky second in the Group 2 $175,000 Royal Sovereign Stakes (1200m) at Warwick Farm on February 18 behind Hot Snitzel.
On that occasion Berry was deputizing for Schofield while he rode Hay List into second place behind Black Caviar in the Group 1 $750,000 Coolmore Lightning Stakes (1000m) at Flemington.
Trainer Ron Leeman will be looking for a change of fortune in the Guineas after Manawanui has been luckless at his two runs back this time in.
When Berry rode him first up in the Royal Sovereign he had to change course in the straight and just failed to haul in the Gerald Ryan trained Hot Snitzel.
Then Schofield was handed his suspension after causing interference when Manawanui was first past the post in the Group 2 $200,000 Hobartville Stakes (1400m) at Rosehill on March 3 then relegated to second behind Wild And Proud.
Schofield’s nine meeting suspension was reduced to seven on appeal but he still won’t be back in time for the Guineas.
Berry is very happy to be back on Manawanui and even though he has won the last two 2yo Magic Millions Classic on the Gold Coast, he said that a Group one win would be extra special.
“I’m confident he’ll win,” Berry said.
“You’ve got to kind of show that confidence heading into a Group One race. I think he’s going to be the best horse in the race and depending on the draw, hopefully he gets the best run.”
“Group Ones are just different. The Magic Millions wins have been great but they are not a Group One. It would be very special to do it and it would be good to do it on this horse for the owners.”
Berry will get a feel of the gelding on Tuesday morning when he partners him in a gallop at Warwick Farm and he is looking forward to stepping up to 1600m at his third run back.
Saturday’s Royal Randwick Guineas has attracted a quality field of twenty-three nominations including Hobartville winner Wild And Proud, Australian Guineas winner Mosheen and runner up Strike The Stars, the Peter Moody trained Moment Of Change and star New Zealand three year old Ocean Park.