High profile jockey Tommy Berry expects the flashy chestnut Woodbine to be a much improved galloper during the upcoming Autumn Carnival.
Berry rode the Gai Waterhouse trained Woodbine in a Randwick barrier trial this morning and was very impressed with the way the four year old powered to the line to take out the 1200m heat.
Woodbine was with the tailenders in the early part of the trial but once Berry eased him to the middle of the track in the straight he gathered in the leaders to easily beat his stablemates Queenstown and Tiare.
“He was quite strong. He relaxed really nicely behind the pace where he is best off ridden, and he really quickened to the line nicely,” Berry told Sky Racing.
“I think has definitely taken improvement from going down to Melbourne over the Spring and having that run down there.”
“On the track at home he has always worked very strongly but he probably hasn’t lived up to the expectation on race day.
“I was very impressed with the way he trialled today and I’d say he could go to the next level.”
Waterhouse thought that Woodbine showed so much potential that after he won a restricted race over 1350m at Rosehill in September, the leading Randwick trainer stepped him straight up to Group 1 company.
From a wide alley jockey Christian Reith was forced to ride Woodbine up on the pace and he fought on well in the straight to be beaten three and a quarter lengths when eighth to the Chris Waller trained He’s Your Man in the Group 1 $500,000 The Star Epsom (1600m) at Randwick on October 4.
Woodbine was then transferred to Melbourne when he was beaten under two lengths when sixth to smart South Australian galloper Hucklebuck in the Group 3 $200,000 Yellowglen Stakes (1400m) at Flemington on November 1.
Hucklebuck then proved the form line to be very strong when he came out the following week at Flemington to win the Group 1 $1m Emirates Stakes (1600m).
Waterhouse is yet to outline an Autumn Carnival program for the Hussonet entire.