By Ray Hickson
Tommy Berry is adamant Heart Conquered doesn’t have to lead to keep his winning run going at Randwick on Saturday but says it’s crucial the horse settles.
The promising three-year-old faces a massive change of circumstances in the Summer Racing Sprint (1000m) on the Kensington track compared to his successive dominant Warwick Farm victories on heavy ground.
It certainly won’t be a heavy track, he’s no certainty to find the lead and he has an extra 4kg to carry and Berry said if he overcomes those factors he could be a horse of the future.
“He has a bit of X-Factor about him, this will determine if he’s a very good horse or just an honest sprinter,’’ Berry said.
“There’s a lot of speed so he’s not going to get it his own way, I think there will be a fair bit of pressure so he has to either be able to lead or relax with the pressure.
“There are question marks, whether he likes dry tracks and if he can get further, but I think we will find out more about him.’’
Heart Conquered wins easily at Warwick Farm on December 22
Most speed maps have Heart Conquered, $2.90 favourite with TAB on Friday, and another speedster Sei Stella (second favourite, $3.90) pairing off in front.
Punters Intelligence data shows the gelding ran his first 400m at Warwick Farm on December 22 in 23.92 seconds, which is about 0.30 seconds quicker than average for heavy ground at that track.
Berry said he’ll be happy to lead if Sei Stella doesn’t want the front but that’s not his number one priority.
“He doesn’t necessarily have to lead, if there is something that is too quick for him and he’s going around off the bridle he will relax but if they try to steady the pace that’s when he’ll resent being held onto,’’ he said.
“Three starts ago when Brenton (Avdulla) rode him and he tried to take a sit he went quite keen.’’
Prior to Friday night’s meeting, Berry is in third place on 31 wins in the Sydney Jockeys Premiership, five behind Hugh Bowman with runaway leader James McDonald on 53.
Here’s some comments from Tommy Berry on his other Kensington rides:
Twentyfour Carat (Race 1, $9.00):
“He’s improved every time he’s gone to the trials. From the awkward gate he’s probably going to have to go back. Sometimes it has been a bit hard to make ground on the Kensington, I hope that’s not the case.
“There’s usually genuine speed in these races and I think he will be hitting the line well. He feels liks he will be a better horse next preparation.”
Spanish Dream (Race 5, $9.50):
“Her city runs before (her Wyong win) were good, she’s been taken on in the lead in previous runs but last start there was a lot of speed so I took a sit and she hit the line strongly.
“She can be a bit more versatile, I’ll have to make a decision with her where we ride her. I don’t want to be too positive because we got her to switch off and I was happy with how she hit the line.
“She’s a nice lightly raced mare on an upward spiral. I think we’ll find out a bit more about her ability wise.’’
Poetic Charmer (Race 6, $4.00):
“He was a really good winner with the blinkers on first time at Canterbury and there was a lot of speed last time at Warwick Farm so we rode him a bit quieter.
“He might just be able to park off the back of the pace and it’d be nice to be in front a few and having last crack at them late, I think he will be hard to beat.’’
Intueri (Race 9, $8.00):
“He’s one of those horses that rarely runs a bad race especially when he gets to his right trip. He’ll appreciate being back on top of the ground, he’s no world beater, and I think he will run a good race again.”