Tommy Berry has picked up a couple of good Randwick Guineas Day rides for Team Hawkes in Sydney on Saturday including aboard Golden Slipper winner Mossfun who will be ridden off the pace in the 2015 Challenge Stakes.
The Michael, Wayne & John Hawkes-trained Mossman filly has won four of her six career starts and shoots for win number five this weekend at Royal Randwick in the $400,000 Group 2 Hyland Race Colours Challenge Stakes (1000m).
The sprint showdown runs as Race 8 at 4:50pm (AEDT) and the field is down to just nine runners after the scratching of the Bryan Dais-trained Soldi Domani, the lowest-rated runner in the field, who had the outside barrier 10 draw.
Mossfun and Berry are drawn in barrier six and carry 54kg as the lightest-weighed team under the weight-for-age conditions.
Fellow three-year-old Rubick from the stables of Gerald Ryan is early favourite in Challenge Stakes betting.
The Encosta De Lago colt hasn’t raced since a 12th to subsequent Lighting Stakes runner-up this autumn Brazen Beau in the Group 1 Coolmore Stud Stakes (1200m) last November.
He is undefeated first-up from two previous resuming runs however and is tipped to return to winning form in the Challenge Stakes.
Berry’s mount Mossfun meanwhile is second-up for the season.
Finishing off her campaign last autumn she won the world’s richest race for two-year-olds, the $3.5 million Group 1 Golden Slipper (1200m) last April.
She returned on February 14 at Randwick and finished three lengths away sixth to Adrift in the Group 2 Light Fingers Stakes (1200m) with Berry in the saddle.
Before that his last ride on Mossfun was a win in the Group 3 Widden Stakes (1100m) exactly 12 months earlier before James McDonald took over for her subsequent three autumn runs including the Golden Slipper.
Berry is willing to forgive the $2.5 million earner her mid-field finish in the Light Fingers Stakes saying she over-raced and wasn’t suited to being right up on the pace.
This time then he plans to have her chasing the frontrunners home over the closing stages, which is when she does her best racing according to Berry.
“She just got over-racing first-up and was probably a bit close that day,” Berry told the Sydney Morning Herald this week.
“All her wins have been when she has come from off them and I think we will try to get her to settle and ride her like that again.”
Along with Rubick some of Mossfun’s other big dangers in the Challenge Stakes include the now Peter & Paul Snowden-trained former Blue Diamond Stakes winner Miracles Of Life on the rails, the returning John O’Shea-trained Group 1 performer Knoydart and Joe Pride’s former star sprinter Rain Affair.
Our preferred online bookmaker Ladbrokes.com.au are set to open their markets on the Randwick Guineas Day support card shortly including the Challenge Stakes odds making now the time to sign-up and enjoy your $250 free bet bonus!