It has been a trying season for jockey Tommy Berry, but the Australian rider is confident that he can salvage something from the term when he partners Pakistan Star in the final Group 1 of the term, the Standard Chartered Champions & Chater Cup (2400m) at Sha Tin on Sunday (27 May).
A frequent fly-in, fly-out visitor in recent years, Berry relocated to Hong Kong at the start of the season as stable rider to trainer John Moore. Having arrived with high hopes, the 27-year-old has endured a lean season in which he has recorded just 13 winners. The partnership with Moore came to an end in late-March, and Berry admits that his confidence took a hit.
“It’s been more down than up, to be fair,” Berry said. “I haven’t had a lot of luck and, when you don’t have much luck, you can get down in confidence. To get a ride like this, though, it obviously brings the confidence right back up, and to win on Pakistan Star would make my season. It would make anyone’s season, but for me, it would mean a lot for sure.
“Any Group 1 is great and to ride a horse who, on his day, is the best horse in Hong Kong, it would be very special and it would be a nice way to finish the season.”
Like Berry, the 2017/18 term has been a rollercoaster ride for Pakistan Star – barred from racing after stopping mid-race late last season, his season appeared in jeopardy when he pulled himself up in a barrier trial in October.
However, he was able to return to the races in February, gaining fitness through three runs before finally fulfilling his promise last time out with a stirring success in the G1 Audemars Piguet QEII Cup (2000m) with William Buick in the saddle.