Tommy Berry will make a flying visit to Hong Kong to ride Savvy Nine for John Moore in the BMW Hong Kong Derby next weekend.
Moore revealed that he was able to secure the booking of Berry despite ongoing global uncertainty due to the rapidly spreading coronavirus.
“Tommy Berry will be up here to ride Savvy Nine and other horses on the day for me,” he told the Post.
Berry rode full-time in Hong Kong in 2017-18 after taking up a position as Moore’s stable-retained rider.
Moore said despite that partnership falling apart halfway through the term, the pair remained close and Berry was still one of his go to riders.
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“We have a great association, it was just that things didn’t go well that season he was here riding,” he said. “I still had him up after that, we get on really well.
“Things went totally wrong that season, you can’t have all good ones.”
With the escalating coronavirus severely limiting international travel, trainers have found it harder than ever to secure riders from overseas for the HK$20 million feature this season.
Berry joins Hugh Bowman (Enjoying), Brett Prebble (Private Secretary) and Jamie Spencer (Super Oasis) as international riders booked so far.
The race will be Moore’s final Derby with the Australian trainer being forced into retirement by the Jockey Club at the end of the season.
Keen to continue training, Moore is exploring his options in Australia but is yet to settle on a location.
“If I was to open a stable in Australia, [Berry] would be one of the first picked in terms of riders,” Moore said.
Meanwhile Enjoying faces a race against time to be fit for the race with Jockey Club vets finding the four-year-old to have an irregular heart rhythm during a track gallop on February 28.
In a statement, chief steward Kim Kelly said Enjoying is required to gallop three times with an ECG [electrocardiogram] fitted to retain his spot in the field.
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“The ECG results of each gallop will be considered by expert internal and external veterinarians,” he said.
“The result of the information obtained after each gallop will determine whether the horse is permitted to undertake a further gallop and continue to retain its place in the field for the BMW Hong Kong Derby.”
Enjoying worked with the ECG on Friday morning with the results expected to be made available on Saturday.
Fellow Derby hopefuls Champion’s Way, Decrypt, Super Oasis and Amazing Beats all trialled at Sha Tin on Friday in a final hit out before the race.