Tommy Berry will link with Canberra sprinter Unanimously at Canterbury on Friday night in circumstances familiar to both jockey and horse.
Berry rides Unanimously in the $100,000 Canterbury Classic, the same race in which he partnered the Matthew Dale-trained speedster to a breakthrough stakes win in 2012.
It was only Berry’s second ride on the sprinter who has proven his worth in Sydney and Melbourne in 23 starts during three seasons of racing.
Unanimously hasn’t been seen at the races since he was stripped of a Listed event on protest at Moonee Valley in August but he looked wound up with a five-length barrier trial win on his home track last week.
“With this race in mind he’s a bit more forward than usual for his return,” Dale said.
Unanimously carried 54kg in beating Eight Bills and Sniper’s Bullet in the 2012 Classic and on that score he would seem attractively weighted with only 0.5kg more on Friday night.
“With Whitefriars being in the race it has really compressed the weights and it has worked out well for us,” Dale said.
Whitefriars, a winner of more than $600,000, has 61kg.
Now a seven-year-old, Whitefriars ran second to Pinwheel in the 2011 Canterbury Classic and then beat Undeniably at his next start a fortnight later in the Australia Stakes at Moonee Valley.
He didn’t appear in public again until winning a barrier trial in November and then he couldn’t fire in a leader-dominated Razor Sharp Quality at Warwick Farm last month.
The eleven entries for Friday night’s Listed race also include two from Darley, the emerging sprinter Sessions and veteran Skytrain, as well as natural speedsters Zaratone and Didntcostalot.