Jockey Tommy Berry helped deliver one of the most memorable finishes at Randwick last weekend aboard Chautauqua but seven days later he will be a mere observer.
Berry, who produced a masterful ride on the grey to drive him from last to win a third consecutive TJ Smith Stakes, accepts he is only in the running for second in the feature race of The Championships’ final program.
The 28-year-old rides No Doubt ($301) in the $4 million Queen Elizabeth Stakes (2000m) and in keeping with his mount’s name, Berry is unequivocal about his chances of beating super mare Winx, the $1.08 favourite with Luxbet.com.
“No. Winx can’t be beaten. Not on Saturday.
“She’s beaten all those horses multiple times before and by big margins. Jeez she’d have to lose two legs to get beaten,” Berry said.
So barring a remarkable turn of events Berry and seven other jockeys will trail in Hugh Bowman’s wake as the world’s greatest horse on turf extends her winning streak to 17.
And far from being demoralised, Berry felt fortunate view Winx’s power and panache from relatively close range.
“I’m just in awe of her, what she can do to a field,” he said.
“All you can do is give your horse the best possible chance to run as close as it can behind her.”
More than two years ago, Berry rode Winx to win the Group Two Phar Lap Stakes but she is now the exclusive mount of Hugh Bowman.
Berry’s most recent experience against Winx was on Chautauqua in last month’s George Ryder Stakes (1500m). The world’s best sprinter was third, almost nine lengths adrift.
“Every trainer who goes up against her it’s more than likely going to be the case, Every jockey that goes up against her is the same,” he said.
Rather than focus on Winx, Berry was concerned about his rivals for the minor placings.
“Hartnell is an obvious danger,” he said. “He’s always run second to her. Exospheric is also coming back in trip. He’ll be rock-hard fit.”
Berry was also impressed by Happy Clapper’s second in the Doncaster Mile to It’s Somewhat, 12 months after he was runner-up to Winx in the same race.
No Doubt was an emergency in the Doncaster Mile won by It’s Somewhat and Berry acknowledged Saturday’s task was a step up in class for the Anthony and Edward Cummings-trained four-year-old.
“He’s a horse on the way up. It’s a sharp rise in grade for him but Anthony has done that plenty of times before and got a result,” Berry said.
“He ran second in the Doncaster Prelude and the form out of that has been pretty strong. He ran behind It’s Somewhat two runs ago.”
At least Berry has an enduring memory from The Championships if he is an also-ran in the Queen Elizabeth Stakes. Guiding Chautauqua to his breathtaking win will take some beating.
“It’s a win I’ll never forget, and a win I don’t think anyone will forget in a hurry,” he said.