By Ray Hickson
It doesn’t bother jockey Tommy Berry that it’s been five weeks between runs for boom filly Cellsabeel.
Results in Sydney and Melbourne on Saturday will determine whether Cellsabeel retains Golden Slipper favouritism and it seems Berry feels if they can’t beat the filly in the Group 2 $250,000 Inglis Silver Slipper Stakes (1100m) at Rosehill they’ll struggle to beat her in a month’s time.
Cellsabeel is a dominant $1.60 Silver Slipper favourite with TAB and at $6, ahead of Hanseatic, in the Golden Slipper.
“It’s not her grand final, there will be improvement there especially with the five weeks between runs,’’ Berry said.
“It would be nice to see her win and if she does win you know there will be upside leading into the Slipper.’’
It’s been a little eventful in that five weeks since Cellsabeel’s six length demolition at Rosehill on a heavy track though more through trainers Ciaron Maher and David Eustace plotting the right path to secure a Slipper run.
She was a long odds-on favourite for the $2m Inglis Millennium but when the race was shifted to last Wednesday week it no longer became an option and the filly completed an exhibition gallop at Randwick last Saturday to compensate.
Berry said that gallop, without blinkers alongside stablemate Etana, and her subsequent work earlier this week told him more than enough about how she’s travelling.
“We saw how dominant she was last start and I’ve ridden her in work and in gallops in between and know how well she is going at home,’’ he said.
“She was with an older horse and one that was race fit as well, my filly didn’t have blinkers on and she worked right up to her and was strong on the line.
“She worked on Tuesday with blinkers and worked very sharp.’’
The field of seven in the Silver Slipper gives Berry confidence that traffic won’t be so much of an issue for Cellsabeel and sees no reason why she won’t confirm her standing as one of the leading two-year-olds this season.
“She obviously has a lot of talent there and she just has to put her right foot forward,’’ he said.
“She gets back in the field so she needs luck go her way but being a small field it won’t hinder her chances.
“It is a handy field with a bit of quality and she will have to be at her best to beat them.’’
Berry partners another filly with a bit of a rap on her in the Chris Waller-trained Subpoenaed in the Sharp Extensive IT Handicap (1400m).
Subpoenaed came from last, running 34.59 for her last 600m (Punter’s Intelligence) which was more than four lengths better than her rivals, to score over the same trip at Randwick three weeks ago.
“They went very steady so it made it tough to do it from behind,’’ Berry said.
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“She was a smart winner on that occasion, she really impressed me with how quickly she picked them up and she will take benefit from it being first-up.’’
The filly is $3.60 favourite with TAB despite drawing barrier 14 and Berry just hopes he can give her the right run in the race.
“She’s drawn tricky so she is going to get out of her ground. Hopefully there is something that will take us into the race from the 600m onwards and if we do she will be right in the finish,’’ he said.
Master Of Wine is equal favourite for the $2m Schweppes Sydney Cup (3200m) so isn’t necessarily expected to resume with a win over 1400m in the Advance Readymix Handicap.
But Berry said he expects the lightly raced import, who wound up his spring with an easy win in the Listed City Tattersall’s Cup (2400m), to be an eye-catcher as he shown he’s a more mature horse this time around.
“He was still doing a few things wrong at the end of his last prep but he’s definitely come back more switched on,’’ he said.
“He’s on a campaign that could see him in a Sydney Cup, it might come up a bit quick for him, and he’s a really nice horse going forward and I’m pleased to be on him.’’