Top Sydney Jockeys Eyeing Group 1 Success in Perth

Tommy Berry and Josh Parr look for continued success with Roots and Overpass.
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Two top Sydney-based jockeys are heading to Western Australia over the next couple of weeks after being booked to ride fancied runners in Group 1 races.

Tommy Berry will be in Perth on the final weekend in November to continue his successful partnership with Roots in the prestigious Railway Stakes at Ascot Racecourse.

Berry guided the Chris-Waller trained horse to a hugely impressive win in the Hot Danish Stakes at Rosehill last week and he will fancy his chances of claiming another victory on their next outing.

The daughter of Press Statement powered clear of her rivals to defeat Call Di by three lengths and has been well backed with online bookmakers to gain her first Group 1 victory at Ascot.

Several Australian horse racing sportsbooks have seen a flood of wagers over the past few days, with Roots backed in from odds of 10.00 to 6.00 to win the race.

Local hope Alsephina is the current favorite with the bookies at 4.00, while Tuvalu (9.00) and Bustler (10.00) are also prominent in the betting.

However, Berry believes Roots is primed to run a big race at Perth and thinks she will be tough to stop in her quest to finally get a Group 1 victory on her CV.

“She’s a well performed mare who is Group 1 placed,” Berry told The Races WA. “She probably put in one of her best performances last week with the blinkers on in the Hot Danish.

“She ran really good time and made them look second rate. She is going over to Perth in good form and I don’t think the mile will pose any problem for her.

“It looks a nice progressive race for her and Chris (Waller) is very keen to get the Group 1 beside her name obviously. She’s got a couple of Group 2s and he wouldn’t be sending her over there if he didn’t think she was a great chance.”

Berry, who has only just recently returned to action following a lengthy suspension, is not the only Sydney jockey travelling to the west coast to participate in a big race over the next few weeks.

Josh Parr is heading to Perth ride Overpass in the Group 1 Winterbottom Stakes on December 2 and will be hoping to guide the horse to another victory at Ascot.

The combination won the inaugural The Quokka at the track in April, but are now on a recovery mission after a disappointing effort in The Everest at Randwick last month. 

Subsequent blood tests on Overpass flagged up a minor issue, but trainer Bjorn Baker believes the horse will bounce back to form in the Winterbottom Stakes.

Overpass has performed with credit against some of Australia’s top sprinters this season and could be a good bet at odds of 6.00 to emerge victorious in Perth.

“His form is top rate,” Baker said. “Outside of the Everest he’s been super. He was great in The Shorts and was great in the 10,000 - then you go back to The Quokka.

“In The Everest he had an off day - the first time for a long time. It was a great experience in Perth earlier this year. It took out a little question mark regarding the track and going left-handed.

“We know that’s in his favor. I think he’s going well and will definitely acquit himself well. On his day he is one of the best sprinters in the country. If he runs up to that he will be right there.”

Overpass showed his wellbeing in a recent 1000m trial at Hawkesbury, finishing three lengths behind stablemate Malkovich despite giving away loads of weight.

The horse has recorded six wins and five places from 24 career starts and is bidding to break through the $5 million prize money barrier in Perth.

Overpass tends to run well when fresh, so the seven-week break from his last outing at Randwick is unlikely to hinder his chances of winning the Winterbottom Stakes.

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