He has landed his first Melbourne Group One win and for jockey Tommy Berry the hard work starts now.
A week after capturing his first Melbourne major on Chautauqua in the Manikato Stakes, Berry finds himself preparing to parlay that success onto a bigger stage at Flemington where he has rides in eight of the nine Derby day races.
Three days later he will partner second favourite Trip To Paris in the Melbourne Cup.
For Berry, who rode his first Group One winner during the 2012 Sydney spring carnival, getting on the board in Victoria has the potential to be a game changer.
“Some trainers and owners want Melbourne-based jockeys in Melbourne, especially if you’re a jockey that hasn’t cracked a big one,” Berry said.
“It plays a big part in being able to get good rides.”
Three of Berry’s Flemington mounts are in Group One races.
He regards Slightly Sweet, a $13 chance for the Myer Classic (1600m), as the pick of them and hers would be a sentimental win.
She is trained by Jason Coyle who also prepared Kasiano Lad, the horse who suffered leg injuries in a race at Randwick last Saturday and was euthanased.
Berry was riding Kasiano Lad, suffering a minor injury to his neck and shoulder./
He was stood down from his remaining mounts at Randwick but proved his fitness by riding at Canterbury on Wednesday.
Having partnered Slightly Sweet to a last-start fourth in the Tristarc Stakes at Caulfield, Berry predicts the four-year-old will relish the expanses of Flemington.
“I really like Slightly Sweet, I think she’s my best ride of the day,” Berry said.
“She ran really well over 1400 metres at her first try going that way at Caulfield.
“She was held up just after straightening and hit the line strongly once she got clear so the mile at Flemington should suit her.”
In an open betting race, Myer Classic markets are headed by three-year-old Stay With Me ($4.40) who will attempt to become the first filly to win the race.