Berry switches focus to Sydney title bid
Warwick Barr
13:33 AEST Tue Nov 12 2013

An impressive book of Singapore rides promises to be only a minor distraction this week for Tommy Berry in his bid for a maiden Sydney jockeys' premiership.

Berry has been booked to ride in 11 races at the Singapore Gold Cup meeting at Kranji but his focus before Sunday's important fixture will be aimed at getting winners in Sydney.

The Tulloch Lodge jockey surrendered his chance to win the Sydney title last season when he took up a short-term Hong Kong contract.

His bid to win the 2013-2014 premiership restarts in earnest at Warwick Farm on Wednesday with four rides in his return meeting after the Melbourne spring carnival.

"Hopefully I can be there near the top of the premiership at the business end of the season," Berry said.

With 18 winners, Berry trails Glyn Schofield by three going into Warwick Farm where leading trainer Chris Waller will present him with one of his main chances in sparingly raced three-year-old The Alfonso in the TAB Rewards Handicap (1300m).

The Alfonso had support in a first-up fourth of five runners at Warwick Farm last month.

But with the Warwick Farm track rated in the heavy range on Tuesday, the best guide to The Alfonso's prospects comes out of fourth placing to the promising Bull Point on a rain-affected surface at Randwick before a spell.

The certainty of Wednesday's meeting being run on a wet track has Kristen Buchanan reluctant to confirm a return to city racing for Marshal, a runaway first-up winner for the Wyong trainer at Newcastle.

Marshal posted a 5-1/2 length win over 900m but Buchanan said she was unlikely to risk the promising sprinter on a heavy track.

"He's drawn the rails and if the track improved I would think about it but the forecast doesn't look good," Buchanan said.

Of the 66 final acceptors for meeting only, only 10 can be counted as winners in heavy going.

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