Racing: Berry says it's time for group one joy

Nash Rawiller rides No Looking Back across the line ahead of Tom Berry on Driefontein. File photo / Getty Images
Nash Rawiller rides No Looking Back across the line ahead of Tom Berry on Driefontein. File photo / Getty Images

Sydney jockey Tommy Berry is hoping to get in on the act in the group one autumn features when he partners the Gai Waterhouse-trained Older Than Time in Saturday's Sydney Cup.

The stable has been in stellar form so far this autumn, with the trainer preparing the winners of the Golden Slipper, Doncaster Mile, Rosehill Guineas, Queen Of The Turf and Sires' Produce Stakes at group one level.

Number one stable rider Nash Rawiller has been aboard in all the group one successes and Berry hopes the Sydney Cup (3200m) is his chance.

"Especially with the way that Gai is going at the moment, anything can happen," Berry said yesterday.

"Also in group ones anything can happen, it's not always the favourite that wins. I'm knocking on the door for a group one and usually they come unexpectedly so I hope that this is it."

Older Than Time finished second in last year's Sydney Cup on a heavy track and Berry heads into the staying feature at Randwick confident the mare is going better this time around.

"Neil Paine has been a regular [trackwork] rider on her since she had her first start and he says she's going better this year than she was last year so I'm confident she'll run well," Berry said. "I think the 3200m is right up her alley. We saw that last year."

Berry's first race ride on Older Than Time was in the group two Chairman's Quality (2600m) last start when the mare finished three-quarters of a length second to Sydney Cup favourite Permit.

The 21-year-old jockey believes the extra distance will help Older Than Time's chances.

"I think what's going to suit us is that the other day Permit went to put a couple of lengths on us but kind of only got a length in front and then whacked away like we did. I know she will run the trip right out."

Berry said he would also welcome any rain if it arrived. "That just makes it more of a staying test if it rains and I know she's probably one of the better stayers in the race."

Permit is favourite at $3.60 with TAB Sportsbet ahead of Niwot at $4.40, with Drunken Sailor $6.50 and Older Than Time at $8.

- AAP

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