Tommy Berry’s decision to forego the Queensland Oaks meeting and stay home to ride at Rosehill has paid dividends with four winners on the program.
Berry’s main reason for staying in Sydney on Saturday was to ride two-year-old Exceedance who finished a close third but lost no admirers.
The Hawkes Racing-trained colt will go for a short break before being prepared for three-year-old spring racing.
“He could be anything,” Berry said.
Since returning from Hong Kong last year, Berry has reassessed his goals and aims to cement himself in Sydney.
The jockey’s winning rides were aboard the Chris Waller-trained England over 1200m, Reelem In Ruby for Peter and Paul Snowden, Kapajack for the Hawkes team and the James Cummings-trained Wagner.
England’s win was his second in a row and came after a victory at Scone and some sage advice from jockey James McDonald who suggested he should be ridden more quietly.
“They asked me to ride him a little bit quieter today to give him something to chase and it worked out perfectly,” Berry said.
“His confidence should continue to grow now going back-to-back.”
Reelem In Ruby also raced a little further back in her 1400m-race than last start when she finished a nose second to Strome two weeks ago.
“She probably should have won every start this preparation,” Berry said.
“First-up she was a bit unlucky with a slow tempo, second-up she won well and the other day she got smashed around the corner and taken out a couple of horses and was only beaten by a nose.
“We had an uninterrupted run today, a pair further back which suited her and she got it done.”
In a fast-run race, Kapajack also reversed his last-start second when he claimed the benchmark 78 over 1300m.
“The speed of the race aided our chances,” Berry said.
“He got there sooner than I wanted to but he’s a class above them, plain and simple.”
Berry brought up his fourth winner on Godolphin sprinter Wagner who won the final event over 1100m.
“I’m probably riding for the biggest range of trainers I ever have,” he said.
“I wouldn’t have had four winners on one day since before I went to Hong Kong.”
But asked to nominate the horse to follow from the meeting, Berry opted for Exceedance.
Berry, who will ride in Brisbane next Saturday, has overtaken Hugh Bowman and now sits second on the Sydney premiership with the latter taking a break.
Berry’s 66 wins places him eight ahead of Kerrin McEvoy but well in arrears of runaway leader James McDonald.