Tommy Berry Will Not be Available to Ride Chautauqua in The Everest
Actions have consequences, or so it would seem for jockey Tommy Berry.
Berry has received a license to race in Honk Kong next season from the Hong Kong Jockey Club. Berry now has an opportunity to pursue the career he has adopted in a place where the financial rewards are well beyond what he could hope to earn riding in Australia. Berry will be riding next season for another ex-pat, trainer John Moore, who like Berry, proved his ability to the extent that he was deemed qualified to train on what many consider the biggest stage in the world of thoroughbred racing, certainly the biggest in Asia by any measure.
The consequences for Berry, on the other hand, is that he will not be take the ride aboard Chautauqua in The Everest when the world’s richest turf race jumps for the inaugural time at Royal Randwick October next.
Berry had made a request of his Asian connections for a release on October 14 in order to return to Oz and resume his position atop Chautauqua, but his “special request,” as it was deemed, was rejected by the Hong Kong Jockey Club due to a scheduling conflict.
The HKJC will be holding one of its regular Saturday meetings on the same day as The Everest.
John Hawkes will simply have to find another rider for his sprinter and although he is disappointed, considering what Berry and Chautauqua have accomplished in tandem, he told Berry that Berry should focus on the upcoming chapter in his career, which, by most objective criteria, is a step forward.
The other jockey that has had a seat on Chautauqua in the past is Dwayne Dunn, but no one at the Hawkes stable would confirm or deny that Dunn will get the ride that otherwise would have gone to Berry.
Berry is not the only hoop to be affected by the HKJC’s justifiable desire to have their top riders available for their meetings next spring. Joao Moreira, Brett Pebble and Zac Purton have rides scheduled in Hong Kong that preclude their taking part in Group 1 races in Australia on the same day.