Although Tommy Berry is here as the contracted rider for John Moore’s yard, he had hoped to snare the odd winner outside his primary provider’s string and the Australian jockey broke that ice on Sunday with Sacred Ibis.
Leave aside the regular ride he came over with to win the Chairman’s Sprint Prize in 2016, Chautauqua, Berry had not ridden a winner for any trainer but Moore since April 2015, when he scored on Supreme Profit for Danny Shum Chap-shing.
And Berry came away impressed that the bottom of the Paul O’Sullivan-trained Sacred Ibis is still some way off after coming from last to win his second race from just three outings.
“He has a tendency to hang out in a lot of his trackwork and he did it on way to the gates today too,” Berry explained.
Paul O'Sullivan after Sacred Ibis storms from last at 24-1— Michael Cox (@KemblaCoxy) November 26, 2017
"Stepped sideways at start, wasn't the plan to be that far back" @TommyBerry21 pic.twitter.com/LwJOTHAuUQ
“Then he jumped left quite sharply when the gates opened and onto the heels of the horse outside of me. I had to grab hold of him, so that’s why he got a bit detached from the field but I didn’t want to chase him. I thought I’d let him catch them when they steadied.
“In the straight, he was outsprinted at first but when I got him into clear running he hit the line hard and I think he has a lot of improvement in him. He’s still very raw.”
No need to panic, the season has now started for Tommy Berry and John Moore
But while an otherwise quiet day for the Moore yard was highlighted by the shock 84-1 victory of Respect (Matthew Chadwick) in the opener, turning over long odds-on favourite Super Missile in the process, Berry still found something encouraging from his first race ride on Derby hopeful Rivet.
Respect shocks in the opener, winning at 81-1 over hot fave, the debuting Smart Missile, who ran into second. #HKracing pic.twitter.com/TbMJ0kW9VW— HKJC Racing (@HKJC_Racing) November 26, 2017
John Moore as surprised as anyone after Respect rolls the "hot pot" Super Missile in R1 ... "hope fans of the stable had ten each-way" pic.twitter.com/1k9oI8v7SE— Michael Cox (@KemblaCoxy) November 26, 2017
“He probably didn’t look like much from the stand but I was really happy with the run,” Berry said.
“They went slow and then sprinted really quick for him, which isn’t his go, but I like how he went through the line. I think John is running him in a mile race international day and the extra distance will be a plus for him.
“We had to go back from the draw today but, if he can draw a gate over a mile, he should be a little closer in the run and he feels like a really nice horse. For one that’s headed for the Derby, he’s going the right way.”
Pingwu Spark, the largest horse in Hong Kong, wins for the third time in four starts this season over eye-catching HK debuter Doctor Geoff #HKracing pic.twitter.com/PG54irZ0PF— HKJC Racing (@HKJC_Racing) November 26, 2017