Jockey Tommy Berry has big plans this season starting on Saturday when he partners a filly he rates good enough to win The Rosebud 2014 – the Gai Waterhouse-trained Nayeli.
Berry looks the biggest threat to Kiwi expat James McDonald to retain his Sydney Jockey Premiership title in 2014-15 and wants to get things going early with his strong book of Spring Racing Carnival runners.
“The premiership is very important to me, it is my main aim for the season,” Berry told The Daily Telegraph this week.
“I want to ride out the season in Sydney this time and try to win the premiership.”
One of those is Waterhouse’s Golden Rose and Thousand Guineas-bound filly Nayeli, the daughter of More Than Ready resuming on the weekend.
A $15 chance through Ladbrokes.com.au for the $1 million Group 1 Golden Rose (1400m) at Rosehill Gardens on September 13, Nayeli runs first-up at Royal Randwick in the $100,000 Listed The Rosebud (1200m).
“I really like Nayeli,” Berry said.
“I think she is good enough to win with that weight (58kg) as I rate her a Group 1 filly.”
Drawn in barrier two in the eight-horse field she’s paying $3.10 to win at Ladbrokes second only to the John O’Shea-trained Sarajevo ($2.70).
Targeting not only next month’s Golden Rose but also a possible run in the $500,000 Group 1 Thousand Guineas (1600m) in Melbourne on Caulfield Guineas Day in October, Nayeli is a promising type who has come through her spell well.
As a juvenile she won her first two starts including a two and a half length victory in the Group 3 Chairman’s Stakes (1100m) at Caulfield.
She returned to the track then for a shot at the Group 1 Blue Diamond Stakes (1200m) but didn’t finish off and ran second last crossing 15th behind current 2014 Golden Rose favourite Earthquake.
Two Randwick trials since however have her right in the mix first-up on the weekend, Nayeli most recently winning a strong 1050m hit-out on July 18 with Berry aboard.
Berry was impressed with that jump-out and also the maturity she’s shown physically since coming back ahead of her three-year-old return.
“She has come back much stronger which you would expect her to as she was very light as a two-year-old,” he said.
Other notable The Rosebud hopefuls meanwhile include the Peter & Paul Snowden-trained top weight with 59kg Inkling ($7.50) and Peter Moody’s returning Shamardal colt Better Land.
As for the other Waterhouse-trained spring contenders Berry mentioned as favourites of his the names Forever Loved, Diamond Drille and futures 2014 Melbourne Cup betting fancy The Offer all came up.
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