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Berry reunites with Queen against Caviar
Mathew Toogood
18:11 AEST Thu Mar 21 2013

Tommy Berry clearly remembers Black Caviar thundering past him and his favourite filly Karuta Queen in a race at Caulfield 17 months ago.

The young Sydney jockey reunites with Karuta Queen for the first time in a year in Friday night's Group One William Reid Stakes at Moonee Valley.

And there's every chance he'll experience a similar thing up against the world champion mare again.

Karuta Queen lines up as one of six rivals to new stablemate Black Caviar, who is the $1.04 favourite to notch her 24th straight win and a record-equalling 14th at Group One level.

Berry is thrilled to be back on Karuta Queen, a horse who played a major part in him becoming the Group One-winning jockey he is today.

"Obviously my Group One wins have been massive highlights, but that is right up there at the top as well," Berry said of the 2011 Schillaci Stakes when Karuta Queen finished 4-1/4 lengths second to Black Caviar.

"I still remember quite clearly her coming past me and how easily she did it. It was amazing, and I'm sure I'll probably see it again on Friday night."

Karuta Queen is now in the care of trainer Peter Moody after being bought by John Singleton, with her original owners retaining an interest.

The mare spent close to a year on the sidelines due to knee surgery and returned with a first-up third over 1000m at Flemington in Listed company earlier this month.

"I'm really excited to get back on her and really liked her first-up run after a fair while off," Berry said.

"She's going back to Moonee Valley where I think her best win was at in the Group Three race on Cox Plate day (in 2011)."

Berry was quick to let Singleton know he was keen to ride the mare again when he noticed earlier this week a jockey hadn't been declared.

"I sent John Singleton a text and said I'd like to ride her and within a couple of minutes (Singleton's racing manager) Duncan Grimley was in touch telling me to pack my bags, I had the ride," Berry said.

Moody believes Berry will be able to give him a good insight into how Karuta Queen is going given he has ridden her in 15 of her 16 starts.

Luke Nolen, who rode the mare first-up, rides Black Caviar.

Black Caviar is going as well as ever, according to Moody.

She is expected to attract 25,000 people to Moonee Valley.

"Every time she goes to the races these days it's an event and something we all look forward to," Moody said.


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