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Tommy Berry basks in Group One double
Mandy Cottell
09:18 AEST Mon Oct 8 2012

Gai Waterhouse is no stranger to the Group One spotlight but for stable rider Tommy Berry, Saturday's Epsom Handicap meeting was career-defining.

In a 40 minute period, Berry combined with the Randwick trainer to win the Group One double of the Epsom Handicap aboard Fat Al and Metropolitan Handicap on European import Glencadam Gold.

While it was a momentous day personally for the 21-year-old, Berry was quick to put his successful afternoon down to a team effort.

"It was an unbelievable effort from Gai and the team," Berry said.

"She said these horses would win these races a long way out and she's got them here in super fashion.

"They were ready to win and they did."

Berry had not ridden a Group One winner before this spring but Saturday's pair took his career record to three after he claimed last month's Golden Rose aboard the Peter Snowden-trained Epaulette.

He had said in the lead up to Saturday that he really wanted to win a major for Waterhouse because she had been so instrumental in his career.

Berry credited his boss with shaping him into the calibre of rider he has become.

"I went to her as a good rider, an accomplished rider, but it did still take me more than a year after being at Gai's to win a Group One.

"But not only that, her confidence. She's put a lot of confidence in me and that rubs off."

Also crucial to Berry's rise has been Nash Rawiller.

Waterhouse's number one stable jockey, Rawiller was down to ride Glencadam Gold in the Metropolitan until topweight Efficient was paid up for the final field on Wednesday.

The spread of weights meant Rawiller could not ride at the 53kg Glencadam Gold carried and Berry got the prized mount on the favourite.

As luck would have it, Efficient was retired two days later due to injury and didn't take his place.

Rawiller could be forgiven for being disappointed but he went out of his way to congratulate Berry on his achievements.

"He's as happy as Larry for me. He's a champion bloke," Berry said of Rawiller.

"He's taught me a lot since I've been at Gai's and I couldn't thank him enough."

Glencadam Gold will now head to the Caulfield Cup, a race Waterhouse has won with Descarado.

The Melbourne Cup is also on his spring radar and a victory in that would give racing's leading lady her first success in Australia's most famous race with her best results second placings with Nothin' Leica Dane (1995) and Te Akau Nick (1993).

AAP TURF


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