Berry backs Spring star to be a classic contender

Source: Racenet, Ray Thomas 14 November 2020

There was talk of an ATC Australian Derby campaign for The Elanora and the Randwick Guineas for High Supremacy after their thrilling clash at Newcastle on Saturday.

This might seem ambitious but what is certain is that both three-year-olds have the potential to develop into classic contenders later this season.

Their straight-long duel for the Group 3 $160,000 Spring Stakes (1600m), with The Elanora rallying under pressure to win narrowly, was evidence of their emerging potential.

The Elanora is raced by John Singleton and is from one of racing’s most successful equine families that includes More Joyous, Tuesday Joy, Sunday Joy and Joie Denise. The Chris Waller-trained colt is bred to be good.

Charlie Duckworth, Waller’s stable representative, admitted as much when he described The Elanora as a “very exciting colt.’’

“It was a really tough effort,’’ Duckworth said.

“Tommy got a beautiful run in behind a manic speed battle so he came into the top of the straight with a full tank of gas and that told late.’’

Duckworth said The Elanora has made significant improvement with each run during his four-race debut preparation.

“When he won at the provincials first-up we thought he might be mentally a bit behind the others,’’ Duckworth said.

“Then the blinkers went on and he has continued to take the necessary steps and today is the cherry on top for his spring preparation. John Singleton will be cheering no doubt and I’m tipping he had something to do with his price tumbling.’’

The Elanora firmed from $10 into $7.50 and showed his willingness to fight back and beat High Supremacy ($7) by a half length with Ellsberg ($5.50) more than two lengths away third.

Perfect Radiance was sent out $4.40 favourite but was very disappointing, fading to finish second last.

Tommy Berry, who vaulted to the top of the Sydney jockeys’ premiership after completing a winning double on The Elanora following his earlier success on King’s Trust, also predicted a bright future for The Elanora.

Berry relied on his knowledge of the form and nuances of rival runners to guide The Elanora to a valuable Group 3 win.

“I was able to make a couple of horses work around me so we would get the perfect run in the race,’’ Berry said. “I knew the leader had been hanging off at his last couple of starts so I felt I was going to get the run when I needed it

“It was a masterstroke from Chris bringing this colt from 1800m back to the mile as I knew he would be fit at the end

“I think that was the difference in the end – Nash’s horse (Rawiller on High Supremacy) got to me but my colt picked up and was strong to the line.’’

Berry said The Elanora has been strong through the line in each of his races and the jockey reasoned he needed to make use of the colt’s obvious staying ability.

“I thought if we hold him up for a sprint he is not that type of horse,’’ he said.

“I knew I was on the fittest horse in the race, too. He’s a lovely colt and has a Group win next to his name now.

“It feels like he will run 2000m maybe even a touch further but I’m not about to start placing Chris’s horses, I’ll let him do that and I’ll ride them.’’

However, Berry did suggest The Elanora can develop into a classic contender next autumn.

“He could be a (ATC Australian) Derby horse because he is that relaxed and he was strong at the end of that race,’’ he said. “It was a very good effort and although he had been racing in easier races his times have been good.

“He’s got a future, that’s for sure.’’

Trainer Richard Freedman was proud of High Supremacy’s effort but lamented his stable’s run of near misses on Saturday.

“Can we run a second placing today – we have run two seconds with High Supremacy and Sweet Reply (Sandown Guineas) in Group races and two seconds at Kembla – that’s four for the day,’’ Freedman said.

“But I think High Supremacy can and come back and be a very nice horse in the autumn. This is his first preparation, only his third run in a race and he is still really green, too. Nash (Rawiller) said when he had to flatten out he got a bit wayward and lost, it’s just greenness.

“He was beaten by a better horse on the day but he is a good horse in the making.

“It’s a good time to give him a break now, he will mature and should be a really nice horse in the autumn. We have high hopes for him.’’