A refreshed Tommy Berry will take the mount on Glencadam Gold in the Group 1 $2.65m BMW Caulfield Cup (2400m) at Caulfield on Saturday with a new bounce in his step as he begins his stint as the number jockey for the Gai Waterhouse stable.
Berry has been promoted to the number one rider for the powerful Sydney stable, replacing Nash Rawiller who has been the first choice rider since being lured by Waterhouse to join Tulloch Lodge in 2007.
Rawiller and Waterhouse have shared some great times together and in recent years kept the Group 1 wins rolling over with headline horses such as More Joyous and Pierro.
But things have soured over recent months and the pubic became aware of the rift when Rawiller was sacked from Melbourne Cup favourite Fiorente and replace by Damien Oliver for the rest of the Spring after an unlucky fourth to Happy Trails in the Group 1 $500,000 Turnbull Stakes (2000m) at Flemington on October 5.
Berry has had a quick rise through the ranks and after getting taken off Glencadam Gold in last year’s Caulfield Cup after the pair won the Group 1 $400,000 McGrath Estate Agents Metropolitan (2400m) at Randwick, has made every post a winner.
After winning the Group 1 $3.5m Tooheys New Golden Slipper (1200m) at Rosehill on Overreach for Waterhouse and the Group 1 $2m BMW Doncaster Mile (1600m) at Randwick for Chris Waller, Berry ventured to Hong Kong for a very successful three months which also included another Group 1 win on Military Attack in the Group 1 HK$14m The Audemars Piguet QEII Cup (2000m) at Sha Tin in April.
Berry is returning from a careless riding suspension and spent the time off holiday in Hawaii on the advice of Waterhouse who wanted him fresh and bright as he begins his new position for the stable.
”When he got suspended I told him to go have a holiday and get away from it all before Melbourne,” Waterhouse told the Sydney Morning Herald.
”He has been riding dolphins rather than horses, which would be good for him.
”He is going to come back as the stable jockey, which is a whole lot more pressure.”
Berry credits Waterhouse for his rise to the top and respects her decisions, and understands why he was replaced on Glencadam Gold in last year’s Caulfield Cup.
”She didn’t think I was ready last year and she was right,” Berry said.
”I was lucky enough to ride Glencadam in the Melbourne Cup but I’m a much better jockey now than I was back then.”
“I was riding for Gai Waterhouse and there is all sorts of pressure that comes with that.”
”It is the same job. I’m just getting the pick of the rides now. But when you are riding for Gai, the spotlight is always on you.”
Berry has always held a soft spot for Glencadam Gold and even though the six year old hasn’t produced the winning form this Spring that saw him win last year’s Metropolitan, the young jockey is still giving him a great chance.
”He has always been a horse that I have had a good relationship with, we just seem to click,” Berry said.
”He has given some of the highlights of my career in the Metrop and in the Melbourne Cup.
”He comes into the race fourth-up and ready to peak. Last year he was proving himself, he is more mature this time around and we know he will handle the trip.”
Glencadam Gold is well down in the Caulfield Cup market order at $41 after finishing fourteenth to Happy Trails in the Turnbull Stakes.
The Chris Waller trained Hawkspur has maintained his spot at the head of the betting at $4.50 just ahead of English stayer Dandino at $6 and Royal Descent at $8.50.
Kiwi mare Silent Achiever has firmed into $9 with the booking of Glen Boss while Fawkner and Jet Away share the next line of betting at $11.