When it comes to The Championships at Randwick Tommy Berry is the man to follow. Last Saturday he rode a treble with wins on Clearly Innocent in the Country Championship Final, Tavago in the Australian Derby and Chautauqua in the TJ Smith.
Tommy is now a clear leader in the Nathan Berry Medal. Heading into this Saturday he is four points clear of Hugh Bowman and with a great book of rides he is in for another day of success at Royal Randwick.
In the Australian Oaks he is onboard the Robert Smerdon trained Chabaud. When asked of the fillies chances Tommy said, “She is a nice star on the rise. They have sort of taken the back door option with her. She will stay all day and she will handle the wet.”
Berry has already won a Sydney Cup on The Offer and this year he is on Auvray. He is a five year gelding who previously raced in France and has won over 3000 metres twice. Now trained in Australia by John Thompson he could be a real knock out horse in the Sydney Cup. Berry said, “He was a bit disappointing last week. I thought he would do a little bit more than that. He has great form overseas and good form over 3000 metres and he handles wet tracks. He has to improve but does have a weight drop. He has a few more things in his favour this time around and has a great trainer so he will get the best out of him.”
Gai Waterhouse and Tommy team up in the Coolmore on Supara. She could be a knock out horse with Berry explaining, “She proved herself last start that she is up to this sort of grade. She ran second behind Zanbagh last start after being ridden forward for the first time in a while. We will probably adopt those same tactics from a wide alley and she handles a wet track. She needs to step up to win in Group One company but she is going well.”
In the main race of the day; The Longines Queen Elizabeth Stakes; Tommy is aboard crowd favourite Criterion. This will be his last race before being retired. It would be a fitting end to a fabulous career to see Criterion win back to back Queen Elizabeth’s after blitzing the field last year.
When asked about Criterion Tommy said, “It was disappointing losing Tosen Stardom but it is great to pick up this horse. His record speaks for itself. He has won a Black Opal at two, he’s won a Derby, a Ranvet, second in a Cox Plate behind Winx and third in a Melbourne Cup. There is not much more he can do and he has won a Queen Elizabeth. He is going as well as last year so I have heard and his preparation has been faultless so far so he should be hard to beat.”