Tommy Berry admits he would rather be in Melbourne riding the favourite Glencadam Gold in the Caulfield Cup 2012, but the Sydney hoop will have to make do with the ride on another Gai Waterhouse-trained stayer in Western Sumbol who he rides in the $100,000 Listed City Tattersalls Club Cup (2400m) at Royal Randwick.
Berry was aboard Waterhouse’s exciting import Glencadam Gold for their blistering four length victory in the Group 1 The Metropolitan (2400m) at Randwick on October 6, but has been replaced by the more experienced Hall of Famer Jim Cassidy when the four-year-old looks for their second elite level on the trot in Saturday’s $2.65 million Group 1 BMW Caulfield Cup (2400m).
Glencadam Gold suffered an early blow drawing off the field with barrier 21 (of 22) but remains at the top of the Caulfield Cup odds at bookmaker.com.au paying $5.
While Berry would love to have been in the saddle again he is still looking forward to watching the Caulfield Cup on the TV from Sydney and he will be cheering as hard for Glencadam Gold as any punter with money on them.
“I would have rather be down in Melbourne but I’m looking forward to watching Glencadam Gold go around anyway,” Berry said.
“I’ve said he’s the best stayer I have ridden. It’s going to need a really good ride from Jim Cassidy who is one of the best frontrunning riders in Australia.
“I do think he can win but he’s got to be every bit as good as we think he is, or better. It’s not easy to win from out there.”
But half an hour before Glencadam Gold races in the Caulfield Cup 2012 Berry’s attention will be firmly focused on Sydney when he jumps aboard High Chaparral six-year-old Western Symbol in the City Tattersalls Club Cup.
Lightly-raced for their age with just 18 starts to their name, Western Symbol has only finished outside of the top three on four occasions before and is the horse to beat on Saturday according to Berry.
After a disappointing first-up 10th when failing to beat home any of their rivals in the Group 3 Cameron Handicap (1500m) at Newcastle in September Western Symbol bounced back last time out when running a slashing second behind Mourayan, defeated just a long neck in the Group 3 Craven Plate (2000m) at Randwick on October 6.
“He ran really well the other day and only got beaten by Mourayan who is a really good horse going towards the Melbourne Cup,” Berry said.
This weekend they are tipped to improve again, Western Symbol having won the Listed JRA Plate (2000m) at Randwick with Berry aboard third-up during the autumn, and they are installed as the $4 second favourite in the Tattersalls Club Cup odds at bookmaker.com.au.
“He’s dropping back to this sort of grade. I think he’s the best horse in the race and he’s drawn a perfect barrier (three),” Berry said.
“If he gets the right run, which I’m sure he will, he should run out the 2400 metres with no problems.”
They trail only the Bart Cummings-trained $3.10 favourite Dare To Dream who will carry just 54kg compared to Western Symbol’s 58kg topweight.
Despite the weight Berry is confident Western Symbol can get the job done and hopefully move up the order of entry for the $6.2 million Group 1 Emirates Melbourne Cup (3200m).
The horse is unlikely to make it all the way to the first Tuesday of November at Flemington, Western Symbol currently a $101 roughie in the Melbourne Cup betting markets as they sit 55th on the order of entry with 51.5kg yet to pass the first ballot clause for the world’s richest handicap, but they will certainly do their best.
“If he’s back to his best he would want to be winning on Saturday if he wants to earn himself a trip to Melbourne,” Berry said.
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