Tommy Berry’s excitement about his upcoming move to Hong Kong has been tempered by the news he will be unable to ride Chautauqua in The Everest.
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Berry is to take up a 12-month contract with trainer John Moore in the new season.
The Everest will be run on October 14, one of the few Saturdays of racing at Sha Tin and the HKJC licensing committee has knocked back Berry’s application to miss the meeting.
Chautauqua is the early favourite for inaugural $10 million Everest over the Randwick 1200 metres, the same course and distance as the TJ Smith Stakes which Chautauqua has won for the past three years.
Berry has ridden the gelding to those three Group One wins and also the 2016 Chairman’s Sprint Prize in Hong Kong.
Hawkes Racing has traditionally used Berry when Chautauqua races in Sydney and Dwayne Dunn in Melbourne.
Berry said he was disappointed but respected the decision.
Irish sprinter Caravaggio and Golden Slipper winner She Will Reign are the $8 second favourites for the race.
She Will Reign has arrived back at Gary Portelli’s Warwick Farm stable to prepare for the spring.
Portelli said the plan was for She Will Reign to have two barrier trials and run in the Group One Moir Stakes two weeks before The Everest.
The Aidan O’Brien-trained Caravaggio is the favourite for the Coronation Cup at next week’s Royal Ascot meeting.