With less than 10 weeks until the end of the season and 10 winners behind James McDonald, Tommy Berry refuses to give up hope of claiming his first Jockeys Premiership title.
He is fully aware of the challenge ahead as he strives to achieve his long-time goal of taking the crown and is hellbent on making every ride count.
“The premiership has been my goal this season and it will be my goal until the last day but it’s proving difficult. James is a hard one to chase down,” Berry said.
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Tommy Berry (left) isn’t giving up hope of catching James McDonald (right) in the Sydney Jockeys Premiership. Photo: Mark Evans/Getty ImagesSource:Getty Images
“I stayed home rather than go to Queensland during the Winter Carnival to try and catch him.
“I tried to convince him to stay in Queensland for the carnival but he wouldn’t do it.”
While McDonald may be on a number of market top elects at Canterbury on Wednesday, Berry has a quality book of rides himself which he hopes can help him claw back the margin.
His best chance for the day looks to be the Annabel Neasham-trained Cadenabbia in the final event on the card, the XXXX Handicap over 1500m.
The son of Redoute’s Choice is coming off a nice win first-up at Warwick Farm and Berry feels the colt can repeat that performance.
“He’s a lovely who is slowly putting it together,” he said.
“He was a good winner last start and he has drawn nice enough with a little bit of speed in the race to get the same sort of run as he did the other day.”
Mubariz gave Tommy Berry his fourth winner for the day at Rosehill last Saturday to keep him within striking distance of James McDonald in the Premiership. Photo: Mark Evans/Getty ImagesSource:Getty Images
Berry has three rides for leading trainer Chris Waller and all have claims.
Comporta and Canadian Spice are both firmly in the market while Rules Don’t Apply sits at about $12.
“Comporta is probably the pick of his three runners that I’m riding,” he said.
“I trialled her the other day and she gave me a really nice feel. She relaxed just behind the speed.
“We’ve got a good gate on Wednesday and it looks the same sort of set up. Hopefully we get a nice run just behind the speed again.
“Canadian Spice just needs things to go right. She can get a bit keen in her races.
“She was a bit unlucky last start when she was held up and got out late. That was on the Kenso and that can be a hard to track to get runs when you draw in close.
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“She has raced well at Canterbury before and should run well again.
“Rules Don’t Apply has found her form this preparation but has a big weight to contend with.”
While he won’t give up hope of that premiership win, Berry is closing in on another milestone of riding 100 winners in a season for the first time which speaks volumes for his consistency.
“It’s been a good season and he has really brought out the best of me trying to chase him,” he said.
“I’m on 94 winners so far so I should break the 100 barrier which will the first time I have done that.
“That was my ultimate goal for the year and I’m just about there.”
QUINTON’S LITTLE MISS TO SHOW HOW SMART SHE IS
Seeing your young horses step out for the first time is something all owners and trainers look forward to and Randwick horseman Ron Quinton is no different.
The Hall of Famer has three juveniles making their debut at Canterbury on Wednesday including Smart Little Miss and Neoma in the opening event.
Quinton is a part-owner and breeder of Smart Little Miss while Neoma is a full-sister to Golden Slipper winner and ill-fated sire Sebring.
“Smart Little Miss is heading the right way and her trials have been quite good,” Quinton said.
“I’m more than happy with her and she is probably the pick of my pair in the opening race.
The daughter of Smart Missile has shown good ability in her two trials, finding the line nicely from back in the field to place behind a couple of promising horses in Satin Ribbons and Profondo.
“I bred her with a mate of mine, David Lamond,” he said.
“She is out of a mare I also bred by the name of Skein. She was by Dubawi who is probably the most sort after stallion in the world.
Trainer Ron Quinton will debut three promising two-year-olds at Canterbury on Wednesday. Photo: Grant GuySource:The Daily Telegraph
“Skein only had three starts but she had a lot of ability. She won her second start at Canterbury and third at her next start.
“Unfortunately, she had a number of problems and was retired to stud.”
Neoma is still a work in progress and unlike Sebring who was a ready made two-year-old, she is taking time.
“Neoma was a big, backward filly who is just starting to learn what it’s all about,” he said.
“Her trials haven’t been too bad and she is now ready to continue on to the next stage and go to the races.
“I said to her owner/breeder, George Altomonte, she’s not a sprinter. She gives the impression she will run over a bit of ground.”
Quinton’s other debutant is Russian Ruble in the second event.
The son of Rubick has placed runner-up in both recent trials with his latest behind one Wednesday’s rivals, Penciled.
“He is getting better all the time and he is capable of running well on debut,” he said.
“I think he will get out over a bit more ground in time but I’m sure he will run a creditable race.”
Originally published asCanterbury previews: Berry focused on Premiership quest
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