Trainers praise Berry's brace, if not his horses
Tommy Berry had gate one to assist him in both his wins yesterday, but the young Australian impressed with his tactical nous again, discarding the fence on promising My Favorite to ensure the Caspar Fownes-trained three-year-old made it two wins from three starts.
On his first winner for John Moore, Berry simply followed the rail around on Affection but was careful to take a different path on My Favorite to ensure an uncluttered run.
"I never wanted to be on the fence on him, although I was happy to lead if that was the way it turned out and there was no pace," Berry said. "But Hinyuen Paladin came around and crossed me and I was was happy to let him, then quickly pop off the rail and go to his outside."
That was the end of the section for My Favorite's rivals, though Berry said the odds-on favourite, part-owned by canto-pop star Aaron Kwok Fu-shing, did show his inexperience in the run home.
"One thing about him, he gets to the front and then stargazes a little bit," he said. "That's just his lack of experience and it shows that there is improvement in him next season when he learns to focus on his racing better."
Fownes described the win as "workmanlike" but had high praise for Berry.
"He's a very good rider, he'll be better for his experience here and I'm sure we'll see him back one day full-time," he said. "The horse was workmanlike, he did what I expected and won but not any more than that."
That may have been damnation by faint praise, but the Moore-trained Affection couldn't even aspire to that.
"All I can say is that he finally got all the favours and delivered the overdue win we've been expecting" said Moore.
"In the yard, he looked absolutely pristine. He had gate one and met what I thought was an uncompetitive field and finally got his win. [Owner] Hui Sai-fun been very patient waiting for it. Affection hasn't really looked that progressive but he might get one more up in Class Three."
Berry's assessment was sunnier, but not much.
"Some horses can get a boost in confidence from a win so now he's won one, hopefully he can go on with the job," he said.