It has been seventeen years since two Sydney jockeys rode more than 100 winners in a season, but it is a feat that looks set to be achieved this year.
James McDonald has already passed the century and sits on 102 victories while Tommy Berry has just nine more to go to reach 100 after his four-winner haul at Rosehill on Saturday.
The two are locked in an intriguing premiership battle and while reigning titleholder McDonald will be hard to run down, Berry is determined to put up a fight.
With McDonald riding in Brisbane on Saturday, Berry made the most of his absence to notch victories aboard Achiever for Chris Waller, Lost And Running for John O’Shea and a late pick-up aboard the Gerald Ryan and Sterling Alexiou -trained Albumin before claiming the final race on Count De Rupee for Robert and Luke Price.
“It’s too hard to catch James when he’s here. He’s away and I’m going to make the most of it while he’s gone,” Berry said.
“With the two suspensions I got, he skipped to a bit of a break on me but I don’t give up until the last day, so I’ll be after you James.”
Berry has now closed the gap between himself and McDonald to 11 and has declared his intention to shun the Brisbane winter carnival to remain riding in Sydney.
He sits on 91 metropolitan wins after adding the four to his tally on Saturday and if he can get to 100, it will be the first time since the 2003-04 season that two Sydney jockeys have posted a century of victories.
That feat was last achieved by Darren Beadman and Corey Brown who rode 115-1/2 and 105 respectively.