By Ray Hickson
Apprentice Tom Sherry knew plenty was expected of him at his metropolitan debut and has revealed how much the letdown of Black Magnum’s unlucky defeat on Saturday affected him.
It took the 21-year-old about a day to recover, believing he let his boss Mark Newnham down, and he went as far as to address the Black Magnum race on social media on Sunday, saying it was a "tough pill to swallow", but felt he didn't need to apologise publicly and will learn from the experience.
Sherry said he realises he’s now in the big leagues and would like nothing more than to atone on stablemate Somnus at Canterbury on Wednesday.
“Mark sat me down and said ‘it’s going to get tougher mentally, you’ve had a good season and expectation is going to be higher’,’’ Sherry said.
“It was really tough on me because (Black Magnum) was the plan months ago and the boss said ride the rail and ride him for luck.
“And the luck never came, it was unfortunate because I think he should have won and could have won. There’s always the next day but it took me a day to get over it.’’
Somnus, like Sherry, is an emerging talent with two wins from his last four starts, including a four length romp at Newcastle on July 4, and is the $1.90 favourite in the TAB Handicap (1900m).
Sherry has been on board the three-year-old at his past two starts and said the key to the gelding is a bit of distance, it’s significant that both his wins have come beyond a mile, and his on pace style should give him every chance around Canterbury.
“Somnus is a horse that was always going to improve in time and this prep he’s really stepped up to the mark,’’ he said.
“He won impressively last start and I think he is definitely up to his grade. When he’s stepped up in trip he can travel a lot better, he felt comfortable in the run and that’s why he let down so well.
“It’ll be interesting to see how the track plays but we have a good barrier and should get a good run. I think he has every chance and it’d be a fairytale if I could win on him, especially riding him for the boss.”
Stablemate Knowitall Jack returns to his favourite course in the 2020 Yulong Stallions Handicap (1550m) after two runs in Benchmark 78 grade where he’s finished less than three lengths off the winner.
He has an outside gate to contend with but Sherry’s claim brings him in with 59kg, 1.5kg less than he carried to win in the same grade back in January.
The front-running gelding, unbeaten at the Canterbury 1550m, is a horse Sherry hasn’t ridden in a race as yet but he’s well versed in his ability from the early hours of the morning.
Somnus wins at Newcastle on July 4
“I ride him out every morning, since he’s come back this prep. He drops to Wednesday grade, that’s his grade, and he loves Canterbury,’’ he said.
“He always races best when he can lead but it might be a bit tricky from out there, I’m not sure what the boss will do.’’
Among Sherry’s six rides at Canterbury is Lancaster Bomber, who he guided to victory at Gosford last month, for Richard Litt in the Harry Angel @ Darley Handicap (1200m).
Lancaster Bomber, $9, followed that win with a game second behind Varda at Canterbury carrying 61kg and with the claim will drop to 56kg.
“This preparation has been one of his best, he hasn’t put a wrong foot forward,’’ Sherry said.
“I don’t see why he shouldn’t run well on Wednesday. I spoke to Richard and he said he’s going well and should be there or thereabouts.’’