Racing: Berry thrilled with barrier draw

Photo / Thinkstock
Photo / Thinkstock

A favourable barrier draw for favourite Driefontein has young jockey Tommy Berry extremely confident of snaring back-to-back Magic Millions Classics.

Driefontein firmed at the head of betting for Saturday's A$2 million feature at the Gold Coast after coming up with barrier three.

The 20-year-old Berry won the Magic Millions (1200m) on flying filly Karuta Queen last year and is just as bullish about his chances 12 months on.

"I'm going in just as confident as last year," Berry said.

"Driefontein has done nothing wrong and the work she's done during the week has been unreal.

"I couldn't be happier going into the race.

"It's amazing, after winning it last year you're hoping just to have another decent ride in the race the next time, not to have the favourite again."

Driefontein firmed from $3.40 to $3.30 with TAB Sportsbet after yesterday's draw, with a full field of 16, plus five emergencies declared.

Sizzling, who ran home strongly for second behind Driefontein last start in the BJ McLachlan Stakes, also firmed from $3.80 to $3.60 after coming up with barrier six.

The Gerald Ryan-trained Amorino, unbeaten in two starts like Driefontein, has barrier eight.

Amorino, at $6.50, is the only other runner under double-figure odds.

Berry said the barrier draw was "just another tick" for the speedy Driefontein, who'll be one of two runners for trainer Gai Waterhouse.

"I've been confident the whole way through but really started to get confident after her last win," Berry said.

"It was a dominant win, she ran very good time the last 600m and if she can run that in the Magic Millions it's going to make it hard for them to come from behind and beat her."

Nash Rawiller rides Driefontein's stablemate No Looking Back as Waterhouse chases her fourth win in the race after Assertive Lad (2000), Excellerator (2001) and Dance Hero (2004).

Berry respects the other main chances with Sizzling, Amorino and No Looking Back (barrier four) also drawing well but he believes he's on the right horse.

"Last year Karuta Queen was the standout but this year there's a few more live chances," he said.

"But I'm still very confident.

"You'd like to draw anywhere inside barrier nine and the three main chances have drawn inside there so there should be no excuses."

The barrier draw was also completed for the A$1 million Magic Millions Guineas (1400m) with the David Pfieffer-trained Safusa tightening his grip on favouritism after drawing barrier two.

Pfieffer is striving for his second Magic Millions Guineas win, after the 2010 success of Graceful Anna.

Safusa firmed from $4 to $3.60, while Happy Hussy drifted from $5 to $5.50 after coming up with gate 13 in the full field of 16, plus five emergencies.

Safusa won the Magic Millions 3YO Stakes (1200m) at Wyong last start and tuned up for his Gold Coast assignment with an impressive barrier trial win at Rosehill last Friday.

- AAP

© Copyright 2014, APN New Zealand Limited

Assembled by: (static) on red akl_a5 at 31 Jul 2014 16:30:54 Processing Time: 349ms