In-form hoop was understandably disappointed when talented filly Najoom failed to gain a start in the Stradbroke Handicap two weeks ago and is hopeful the three-year-old will not suffer the same fate ahead of Saturday’s featured Group 1 Tattersall’s Tiara (1400m) on the Gold Coast.
Najoom has posted an impressive five wins and two second place finishes from her seven career starts for Gai Waterhouse, but was unlucky to miss the capacity field for the Stradbroke Handicap after a particularly talented group of short course specialists accepted.
Having been thrilled with the feel offered up by the Northern Meteor filly, particularly in the Group 3 Fred Best Classic (1350m) last time out on May 23rd, Berry told the Courier Mail he is confident the conditions of the 2015 Tattersall’s Tiara will play directly into Najoom’s strengths and remains hopeful she will gain a start.
“It was a kick in the guts missing the Stradbroke with her,” Berry said.
“But Gai has always got the best interests of her horses at heart and she thought the best thing was to wait and come to the Tatt’s Tiara. I hope she is right.
“I couldn’t be any happier with Najoom going into Saturday, if hopefully she gets a run.
“It is a mouth-watering race and whatever wins will be competitive in the spring when it comes to a Myer Classic or something like that.
“A couple of weeks ago I though the Tiara might have been an ordinary race but the way the last few weeks has unfolded, with Srikandi in the equation and horses likes Real Surreal coming into the mix, it is going to be a fabulous race.
“It is rare that you get a race of this quality over the winter months.”
Najoom returned to racing for three-consecutive wins in minor sprints through March and April but has undoubtedly staked her claims as one to watch in finishing second behind Bonete in the Carl Rei BM75 (1200m) and winning the Group 3 Hawkesbury Guineas (1400m) by more than four lengths leading into her Fred Best Classic triumph.
Currently figuring as second emergency, Najoom remains favourite for success at current 2015 Tattersall’s Tiara odds of $3.80 at Ladbrokes.com.au.