By Ray Hickson
As much as they’d like to, jockeys can’t ride in two places at once or on two horses in the same race.
Tommy Berry had to deal with the latter issue this week with promising Chris Waller-trained three-year-olds Lucicello and True Detective facing off in the Group 3 $160,000 Luxury Network Up & Coming Stakes (1300m) at Royal Randwick.
The popular hoop was on board both horses in their most recent starts and clearly has an opinion of them, saying on their respective efforts he'd hoped to stay with them wherever they went next.
“It wouldn’t surprise me if the result went either way,’’ Berry said.
“I just wish the two horses weren’t in the same race because they are both great rides.’’
The TAB market has True Detective as $2.50 favourite with Lucicello a $5 chance.
Given his knowledge of both youngsters, Berry offered some pros and cons of the duo and said he’s more than happy to be riding Lucicello.
“There’s not much between her and True Detective, I just think she has more runs on the board than him,’’ he said.
“He’s still doing a little bit wrong in his races, wanting to duck in sometimes and he was a bit slow away last time so he’s making things difficult.
“He relaxed well last start but in the past he’s gone keen in high pressure speed races. So he has to come out and relax to run the trip out.
“Lucicello’s pretty much established the pattern now where she gets back and makes her own luck.
“She’s very strong to the line and with the barrier she’s drawn she will be able to find the fence, hopefully in front of two and three, and do what she did two starts back when she won.
“She’s been really relaxed in her runs, I think the 1300m will assist her in settling a bit handier without asking for it.’’
Lucicello did a big job running second behind Dawn Passage in the Rosebud (1100m) at Rosehill two weeks ago where she ran the fastest last 600m of the day, 33.43 (Punter's Intelligence), after conceding a big start to the leaders.
All eyes will be on Berry and Anthony Cummimgs' boom filly Libertini in the Group 2 $200,000 Darley Silver Shadow Stakes (1200m) and the jockey is more than ready to find out what she’ll produce first-up.
“I’m almost sick of talking about her now, I just want to get Saturday over and done with so we have something else to talk about,’’ he said
“It’s all ifs and buts at the moment so it would be nice to know where we are at.’’
Libertini will be the shortest priced favourite of the day at Randwick, she was $1.70 on Thursday with TAB, and most punters expect her to win.
That’s something Berry is well aware of but said he takes encouragement from the air of expectation around the filly. Especially after partnering her in last weekend’s exhibition gallop (below).
— Racing NSW (@racing_nsw) August 17, 2019
“It doesn’t change the view I have of the race but it gives you some confidence,’’ he said.
“Does it put any more pressure on me? I don’t think so. She’s earned it by what she did last preparation and in her trials so she just has to go out and reward everyone who believes she is good as she is.
“She’s very bombproof in the run, you can have her wherever you like. She’s going to give herself every chance.
“I think she is more switched on this preparation because she’s jumping in her trials and putting herself right there.’’
More comments from Tommy Berry:
Trope ($5.50 race 6): “He’s come in quite well this preparation and his trials suggest he’s going well. I would have liked to draw a better barrier, drawing there means we will have to ride him quiet again. But he has a good turn of foot on his day, Randwick is going to suit and as long as they can make ground he will be in the finish.
Mizzy ($4.40 race 8): “She’s one of those horses that flies under the radar. She has won only the one race but she’s run well in a Coolmore. She’s a tough honest mare who has come back in great order. She’s no bigger but stronger than she was last prep and is a bit more relaxed. Whatever she did last prep you’ll see an improvement on and she will be tough to beat.’’