Star jockey Tommy Berry spent his week off “pounding the pavement” but it paid off when he partnered promising filly Four Moves Ahead to a brilliant debut win at Randwick’s Kensington meeting.
“This was the first time in 10 or 12 years I’ve come back from a break and ridden 54kg,’’ Berry said. “I’ve been running 8km every day just to make sure I was fit and light enough to ride this filly.’’
Berry’s dedication to the cause is easily understood after the effortless win of Four Moves Ahead in the Schweppes Handicap (1150m).
Emeralds' half-sister Four Moves Ahead gaps them on debut under @TommyBerry21 for @jsargentracing
A very impressive performance 👏 pic.twitter.com/Lun38rNAjY
Despite travelling three-wide without cover, Four Moves Ahead, confidently backed into $2.70 favouritism, was in a different race to her rivals, careering away in the straight to win by nearly three lengths from Ruby Kisses ($17) with Morioka ($18) a half-length away third.
Magic Millions hopeful Mura Mura settled well back in the field but followed the fence and gained a dream run through around the turn but perhaps was caught on the worst part of the track as she was edged out of the placings.
Godolphin filly Laurelin ($2.90 favourite) had her chance in the straight but struggled from the 300m to finish a well-beaten sixth.
Four Moves Ahead showed an impressive turn of foot in the wet conditions. Picture: Getty ImagesSource:Getty Images
Berry, a two-time Golden Slipper-winning rider on Overreach (2013) and Vancouver (2015), gave his endorsement of Four Moves Ahead to trainer John Sargent after her dominant win.
“Four Moves Ahead jumped well and I wasn’t going to be as positive as I was until I saw Laurelin grab the one-one,’’ Berry said.
“I thought we will put her in a pocket and that will let us control the race.
“From that point, I couldn’t see her getting beaten, especially by a filly.
“She was brilliant and there are very exciting times ahead.’’
Berry told Sargent he did ask Four Moves Ahead to extend from the 300m, more for race education rather than any concerns about rival runners.
“I gave her a couple as I wanted her to learn how to find the line,’’ Berry said. “I didn’t too much on her in her barrier trials. So, this was the first time she has been let off the bridle and there is plenty under the ‘hood’. Even when she kicked away there was no signs of stopping.’’
TAB Fixed Odds price assessors reacted immediately to Four Moves Ahead’s impressive debut by slashing her odds for the $3.5 million Golden Slipper (Rosehill, March 20) from $34 to $17. Gimcrack Stakes winner Enthaar remains favourite at $6.
Four Moves Ahead was too good for her opposition at Randwick. Picture: Getty ImagesSource:Getty Images
Sargent said he wasn’t surprised that Four Moves Ahead had been able to win with such authority.
“She has been a lovely filly from day one,’’ Sargent said. “But it was good to get that win away as she has shown so much potential.
“I was hoping she would get some cover but it didn’t work out for her. She did get a clear run and that gave her the chance to show a good turn of foot. The best thing about her is her attitude. She is very laid back, just eats and sleeps and is the perfect racehorse.’’
Sargent had given Four Moves Ahead a good grounding for her race debut with three barrier trials including her recent win against older horses.
“This filly is such a gross doer that I thought she needed that 1000m hit-out rather than another trial over 750m against her own age and it showed today it did help her,’’ the trainer said.
“Even the wet track wasn’t a concern as the breed like it, so does her half-sister (Emeralds) but I think on top of the ground she won’t mind that either.
“I hold her in very high regard, she is going the right way.’’
Trainer John Sargent wasn’t surprised by Four Moves Ahead’s big win. Picture: Getty ImagesSource:Getty Images
Sargent said Four Moves Ahead will have a couple of easy weeks and most likely be aimed at the Group 3 $160,000 Widden Stakes (1100m) at Rosehill Gardens on January 30.
“I think she will stay in Sydney and we will try to get to the Golden Slipper,’’ he added.
Sargent revealed that Emeralds, who won the Group 3 Angst Stakes during the spring carnival, is back in training for the Sydney autumn carnival but his other classy galloper, Brandenburg, may not reappear until later in the season.
“Emeralds is back in work and we are heading towards the Coolmore Classic with her,’’ he said. “Brandenburg has been gelded and is likely to have only a light autumn, maybe have one or two runs at the back end of the carnival, and then possibly Brisbane. I think we will look to get him over a bit of ground in the spring.’’
Sargent also revealed his unbeaten juvenile, Readily Availabull will barrier trial later this week in preparation for the $2 million Magic Millions 2yo Classic (1200m) on the Gold Coast on January 16.
Readily Availabull has already qualified for the big race after winning his only start, the Magic Millions Clockwise Classic at Ballarat during the spring.
Originally published asBerry impressed by Sargent’s ‘perfect’ filly
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