By Ray Hickson
Three weeks ago Tommy Berry used his knowledge of True Detective to bring about the promising colt's downfall.
It was a calculated ride on another talented youngster, Spend, and it was effective but at Randwick on Saturday it’ll be up to Berry to fend off the challengers.
True Detective is a short priced $1.95 TAB favourite in the NSW Trainers Association Handicap (1200m) and Berry saw enough in the colt first-up, from the back of Spend, to be confident he can make it two wins from two rides.
“When I won on him I thought he’d come back as a nice two-year-old but they have to do it,’’ Berry said.
“There are a lot of horses that perform well as an early two-year-old then don’t improve. He’s shown that he has improved and he’s definitely up to stakes level but he has to prove himself beyond that.’’
While Spend attracted plenty of love for his come from behind performance at Rosehill on July 13, True Detective’s effort in defeat was underplayed.
The Punter’s Intelligence sectional data showed the Chris Waller colt ran 34.96 for his last 600m, just 0.36 slower than Spend, but was coming again on the line.
That’s something Berry knew True Detective would do.
“Knowing your opposition helps, and I knew last start I was on a horse who has a good turn of foot but I knew he would feel the pinch a bit late,’’ Berry said.
“True Detective is one of those horses who labours a little bit until he has competition then he goes on with it.
“I knew if I got alongside him and just ambled he’d fight hard at the finish and I didn’t think Spend was fit enough to cope with that. So I put him to the sword straight away and tried to get a break knowing that he’d rally back late.’’
Waller scratched True Detective from last Saturday's Rosehill meeting, the race was won by stablemate Lucicello, and a heavy track holds no fears based on his first-up run.
How Berry will play Saturday’s race is something he won’t lock in until speaking to Waller but he said he’s not likely to try and reinvent the wheel on True Detective.
“I think Randwick is going to suit him quite well. I’ll want to get him comfortable and get him to switch off like Hughie did last start and let him go through his gears,’’ he said.
“It’d be nice to get cover with him because he can go a little bit keen. If he jumps quickly and no one is willing to take up the lead it wouldn’t be the end of the world for him.’’
True Detective runs second to Spend at Rosehill on July 13
The popular jockey is looking to consolidate his second placing in the Sydney premiership, he rode 77 winners in 2018-19, in the new season and chase more success in the Group 1 arena.
He’s armed with a ride in Australia’s richest race, Pierata in The $14m TAB Everest, and the call on a few of the most promising horses in training.
“I’ve got a nice bunch of rides heading towards the spring. Pierata in the Everest, Kluger is possibly coming back and young horses like Exceedance, Spend and Libertini,’’ he said.
“There’s a really nice team building and hopefully they stand up.’’