Youngster Tommy Berry comfortable with decision to return home
Despite taking Hong Kong by storm in what has been a lucrative short-term stint - which continued with a treble yesterday - in-demand jockey Tommy Berry says he has no regrets about his decision to return to Australia, and when he does return here it will be as an even better rider.
Berry turned down the opportunity of a full-time place on the riding roster for next term, preferring to return home to continue his association with the powerful Gai Waterhouse stable.
The 22-year-old now has 14 winners in his rookie season after wins on John Moore pair Sterling City and Invictus, and Ricky Yiu Poon-fai's Ambassadorship.
The run of success would have many youngsters second-guessing a decision to leave but Berry has his eyes fixed on more goals Down Under.
Berry will reunite with Golden Slipper-winning filly Overreach when she resumes as a three-year-old next season, but he said the main reason for returning was to try and establish himself as a big-race rider during the Melbourne Spring Carnival.
"It's a hard choice but I am still young and I have never ridden in Melbourne for a full carnival, just on off days," he said.
"One more year over there, I can hopefully establish myself down there during the carnival. Something that Zac Purton said to me was that he has missed out on that, because once you do come here, you don't go home for a while.
"I left Australia on a very good note, winning all the majors at the Sydney carnival just before I came here so I just want to build on that a bit more in Melbourne. I'm only young and I have plenty of time to get back here."
Berry has indicated he would apply to ride for a stint at the end of next season, and possibly remain on a full-time basis from 2014-15 if given the opportunity.
"I think if I get a chance to come back at the end of next season I will come back a better rider," he said.
Compatriot Moore has been a solid supporter of Berry, the pair combining to win the Audemars Piguet QE II Cup with Military Attack on the first day of the jockey's stint and have put together a formidable strike rate since.
Invictus gave Berry a surprise when he kicked clear at the top of the straight, after leading in a Class Three dirt race.
"I had to do a fair bit of work to get there and when I gave him a click there was something there that I didn't expect," he said.