A decision to fast-forward the return to racing of Top Score will bring an autumn carnival feel to Tommy Berry’s Randwick book of rides.
As an unbeaten close relation to champion sire Fastnet Rock, Top Score will command more attention than most horses on Saturday when the colt resumes in the Schweppes Quality.
It’s an afterthought from trainer John Sargent because Top Score was all set to resume at Randwick on Tuesday.
But Sargent capitalised on an extended entry deadline to lodge a late nomination and the three-year-old rates as Berry’s best chance to ride a winner at the Carrington Stakes meeting.
“He definitely looks like a horse with a bright future,” Berry said.
“He’s one from one and he looked pretty exciting in his trial a week-and-a-half ago.
“So he seems to have come back well and his race manners are a bit better because he was a bit erratic when he won at Warwick Farm.”
Top Score accounted for a midweek field in an 1100m race when he made his debut in October and had two barrier trials during the next month before having his training eased with a view to the autumn.
Sargent is using Saturday’s 1000m-sprint as the first step towards finding out if Top Score can measure up in the Hobartville Stakes, a lead-up race to the Group One Randwick Guineas.
Despite the departure of last year’s Golden Slipper winner Vancouver to Irish trainer Aidan O’Brien, Berry’s autumn carnival stocks remain strong.
There are plans to campaign Chautauqua in Sydney, putting the jockey in the box seat for the ride on the star sprinter.
“Things can change a lot and you’ve just got to be in the right place and you will pick up (autumn) horses along the way,” Berry said.
Berry will ride Agent for Hawkes Racing in the Listed Carrington Stakes at Randwick, with the sprinter the rank outsider in the seven-horse field.