Nathan Berry has returned from a Hong Kong cameo with two things: bragging rights over his twin brother and a career-defining experience.
The youngster answered a call from Hong Kong Jockey Club officials to fill a void in the jockeys’ ranks at Sha Tin last Sunday.
Among his jockey-room rivals was brother Tommy who has been in Hong Kong on a short-term contract since the end of the Sydney autumn carnival.
“I had six rides against Tom and beat him home in four or five of them so I had the upper-hand over there,” Berry said.
But there was more to Berry’s visit than sibling rivalry.
Renowned as one of the toughest riding centres in the world, Berry soaked up the experience.
He also managed two minor placings.
“To run third over there was probably the biggest thrill I’ve had in the saddle,” Berry said.
“It was like a Golden Slipper crowd. There wasn’t a spare seat.
“Just riding with a lot of international riders, you pick up a few pointers.
“I rode very positively there and found myself in some good positions. It was only a small success that I had but it was a big thrill anyway.”
Berry will be looking to build on his momentum at Rosehill on Saturday with rides in all nine races.
The Bede Murray-trained Piazza San Pietro is his mount in the day’s feature, the Listed Winter Cup (2400m), and Berry rates him a live chance.
The mudlark has raced six times on heavy ground for four wins and two thirds and was placed in the Stayers Cup last start with Berry aboard.
“He’s back from 3200 metres so he’s rock-hard fit and he gets in on the limit,” Berry said.
Berry is also a fan of Ghost Protocol who he rides in the Calcoup Knitwear Handicap (1900m) for the in-form Paul Perry stable.
The former English stayer rattled home to finish second to Destiny’s Kiss at his second local run and Berry predicted a bright future.
“He’s a horse with a bit of X-factor for mine,” he said.
Source : AAP