Chris Waller smashed the $40 million prizemoney barrier and Tommy Berry rode his 100th Sydney winner for the season at Rosehill Gardens.
The Hall of Fame trainer dominated his home-track meeting with five winners, taking Berry along for the ride in four races including Mubariz in the Precise Air Handicap (1800m).
Mubariz enabled both men to pass significant personal milestones – this is the third successive season Waller has trained the winners of at least $40 million in stakes, and Berry raised the bat for a century of city wins for the first time.
Berry, who had won earlier races for Waller on Cape Breton, Oscar Zulu and Great House, said he wasn’t about to rest on his laurels after closing the gap to be just nine wins behind Sydney jockey premiership leader James McDonald (109 wins) with 17 city meetings remaining this season.
“I’m still going after the premiership,’’ Berry said.
“Chasing James is hard to do but I feel like it has brought out the best in me.
“I’ve decided to stay in Sydney and not ride in Brisbane during the carnival so far, and that has helped me get to 100 wins.
“But then James pegs me back at the midweeks. I had four winners for Chris today and, if James was here, I might have had only one.
“James rides mainly for Chris and that’s fine, I understand that. I’ve got a lot of great stables backing me including Chris, Team Hawkes, Annabel Neasham, Peter and Paul Snowden, and others, so I’m very fortunate.’’
Mubariz storms home for @cwallerracing at @rosehillgardens taking @TommyBerry21 to four wins for the day! pic.twitter.com/uvVgmFJhgj
Mubariz ($4.80 favourite) finished strongly to score by three-quarters of a length from Mr Dependable ($9), with Monsieur Sisu ($7.50) a close third.
But Berry’s day was soured and his premiership ambitions dealt a blow when Racing NSW stewards suspended him for careless riding on Mubariz after he allowed his mount to shift in under pressure in the last 200m, causing interference to Pandano.
“I’m a bit disappointed with the number of suspensions I have had this season,’’ Berry said.
“I have had a few of them and still been able to ride 100 winners. It shows me what I can do with a season of consistent, hard work and not taking my foot off the pedal.
“I’ve kept my body in good shape, I’ve ridden 53.5kg most Saturdays, and I’ve kept focused on my goals.’’
Berry’s suspension starts after the Stradbroke Handicap meeting at Eagle Farm next Saturday and ends on June 23, which means he will miss two Sydney meetings.
Waller was at Eagle Farm yesterday but his Sydney stable representative Charlie Duckworth said it was not surprising Berry has had such an outstanding season.
“Tommy has matured as a jockey. He is putting in the hard yards for us and getting the results,’’ Duckworth said.
“It doesn’t matter if he is riding at the Canterbury Friday night meetings, he will turn up for Rosehill trackwork every Saturday morning rain, hail or shine.
“For someone who is still so young, he has an unbelievable record and the key for him this season has been his consistency.’’
Chris Waller crashed through the $40 million milestone for the third successive season. Picture: Getty ImagesSource:Getty Images
The same could be said for Waller after he took his tally of Sydney successes this season to 137 with his five-win haul at Rosehill, having already secured his 11th successive premiership.
The champion trainer also won the $500,000 Magic Millions National Classic with Nudge at Eagle Farm and prepared the second and third placegetters (Charms Star and Signora Nera) in the Group 1 Queensland Oaks to take his stable’s earnings for the season over the $40 million mark.
Waller, the only trainer to have achieved this feat, is still a chance to break his Australian record of $44.54 million set last season.
“This was a great day for the stable, massive,’’ Duckworth said.
“But a lot of hours and a lot of hard work goes into these results.
“We were only talking about it at the stable on Friday, how competitive it is in Sydney racing, and how you can’t afford to relax for one minute.
Winter Cup: Knight shows his might
– Matt Jones
Gai Waterhouse boldly declared the best is yet to come from Knights Order, an impressive stakes winner at Rosehill Gardens on Saturday.
“Knights Order is a joy to behold,’’ the Hall of Fame trainer said.
“His work this week had been exceptional. We were very confident he was ready to go.
“This was only his third run back, so he is only going to keep improving.’’
Waterhouse, who trains in partnership with Adrian Bott, watched from her lounge room as Knights Order raced away with the Listed $150,000 Winter Cup (2400m).
Knights Order ($4.80) was well-rated by top jockey Tim Clark and bounded clear in the straight to win by nearly two lengths from the ever-consistent Parry Sound ($4.80), with Stockman ($3.20 favourite) a head away third.
Waterhouse said there is every chance Knights Order will back up in the Group 2 $400,000 Brisbane Cup (3200m) at Eagle Farm next Saturday.
“We will definitely look at the Brisbane Cup,’’ Waterhouse said.
“This horse will stay all day, so there is no problem with him going straight to 3200m.
“There are some nice races for him in Sydney, so I will talk with Adrian and we will make a decision over the next couple of days.’’
Tim Clark rides Knights Order to victory in the Winter Cup. Picture: Getty ImagesSource:Getty Images
Knights Order began his race career in England before he was sourced by Waterhouse’s husband Rob and renowned European bloodstock agent John McKeever.
Bookie Rob Waterhouse has found many tried stayers for his wife to train over the years, most notably 2013 Melbourne Cup winner Fiorente.
Knights Order scored his second stakes win since joining the Waterhouse-Bott stable after scoring in the City Tattersalls Cup last spring.
Waterhouse has now trained three winners of the Winter Cup after previous successes with Reuben Percival (2012) and Grand Connection (1995).
Clark showed tactical nous by not taking Knights Order to the front early, instead taking the sit behind top-weight Inverloch.
“I thought the pace was lovely throughout – Tommy (Berry, Inverloch) used his mount early, but I didn’t think he backed off too much, which allowed me to get into a lovely rhythm,’’ Clark said.
“At the 650m I came out from behind him and he dragged me into the straight and I thought he won really nicely. He’ll definitely go on with it from here.”
Clark said Knights Order needs to settle better to run a strong 3200m if he backs up in the Brisbane Cup and suggested Waterhouse and Bott may consider removing the blinkers.
Originally published asBerry ton helps Waller break $40m mark again
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