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Sherry on hunt for big double after close calls

Sydney’s leading apprentice Tom Sherry can bounce back from some big-race near-misses with a feature brace on Redouble and Real Peace at Newcastle on Saturday.Sherry has seven rides on the program including Redouble in the $1 million The TAB Hunter (1300m) and Real Peace in the Group 3 $160,000 Spring Stakes (1600m).A win in either…

Sydney’s leading apprentice Tom Sherry can bounce back from some big-race near-misses with a feature brace on Redouble and Real Peace at Newcastle on Saturday.

Sherry has seven rides on the program including Redouble in the $1 million The TAB Hunter (1300m) and Real Peace in the Group 3 $160,000 Spring Stakes (1600m).

A win in either or both Newcastle features will allay the disappointment of Sherry’s narrow losses in some major races in recent weeks.

Sherry rode Icebath to the closest of seconds in the $7.5 million Golden Eagle, a third placing on Real Peace in the $1 million Bondi Stakes and minor placings in the Group 2 Hot Danish Stakes (Tricky Gal) and Rosehill Gold Cup (Morton’s Fork).

But despite these feature race frustrations, Sherry’s star has soared this season and with 17 wins already, he is equal fifth in the Sydney jockeys’ premiership and a runaway leader of the apprentices’ title.

“The end of the (spring) carnival has given me opportunities to state my case in the Sydney riding ranks,’’ Sherry said.

“It’s helped that a couple of the big boys have been in Melbourne but even though James (McDonald) is back now I have kept some good rides.’’

Sherry’s riding talents are being recognised by many leading trainers, including Mitchell Beer, who could have selected a senior jockey but was happy to lock in the apprentice for Redouble in The Hunter.

Redouble resumed with an outstanding second to unbeaten mare It’s Me in The Kosciuszko and he is rated at $17 in TAB Fixed Odds betting behind joint favourites Trumbull and Ranier at $4.80.

“I haven’t ridden Redouble before but his run in The Kosciuszko was enormous,’’ Sherry said.

“It was a very impressive effort and he hit the line really well. We have drawn wide but if we get some cover, the long Newcastle straight is perfect to give up the chance to wind up and get home.’’

Sherry is looking forward to riding Real Peace again after the Clarry Conners-trained chestnut colt ran a very competitive third in the Bondi Stakes in heavy going at Randwick.

Real Peace had come out of a Hawkesbury maiden win at his previous start and Sherry believes that success is the key to colt’s chances in the Spring Stakes.

“I thought Real Peace got through the heavy going but when I won his maiden on him, he had a much better turn of foot on the good ground, he let down really well that day,’’ Sherry said. “I think he will benefit from a good track at Newcastle.’’

Sherry also gave a good push for local hope Super in the Benchmark 78 Handicap (1600m).

Trained at Newcastle by Mark Minervini, Super has come of age this spring with dominant wins over 1400m and 1600m on his home track at his last two starts.

“Super can be a bit tricky to ride because he jumps and travels well, he seems to be comfortable and then he decides take off half way around,’’ Sherry said.

“He gets to the 600m pole and he says right I’m going and he doesn’t top. His wins have been very impressive so you can’t know winning form.’’

Sherry hopes the step up in grade will also bring with it a more genuine race tempo for Super.

“I’m looking forward to riding him again but I won’t try and hold him up as I think it is very important to keep your horse in their rhythm and keep them happy,’’ Sherry said. “I just try to ride my horse as we go along.’’

Meanwhile, Fiesta, who was set for retirement earlier this year, can continue her race career resurgence in the $1 million The TAB Hunter.

Denise Martin of Star Thoroughbreds Syndications revealed she approached trainer Chris Waller to ask his opinion if Fiesta should be retired to stud as the mare’s winless streak had stretched nearly 18 months.

But Waller’s advice was that Fiesta still had plenty to offer on the racetrack and the Hall of Fame trainer has been proven right this spring with the mare going back-to-back at Group 3 level in the Northwood Plume Stakes and Begonia Belle Stakes.

If Fiesta can complete a hat-trick of wins in The Hunter, it will lift her prizemoney over the $2 million barrier – a considerable return on the $150,000 the astute Martin needed to secure the horse as a yearling.

“Fiesta has been a great mare for her owners,’’ Martin said.

“She ran in the (2018) Golden Slipper in what seems a very long time ago, she’s a Group winner at two and three, and now as a five-year-old mare.

“At the beginning of the year, I asked Chris if we should offer Fiesta to the broodmare sale as we had just retired Invincibella. But I’m glad Chris convinced me that Fiesta was still a relatively young mare and had some good racing ahead of her.

“She raced well in Brisbane during the winter so it easy to decide to continue in the spring and her last two wins have been eye-catching.’’

Fiesta had drawn right off the track in barrier 18 – she will come into 15 after scratchings – but her form is so impressive she is at $6.50 and firming for The Hunter.

“After she won at Flemington, we considered the Winterbottom Stakes in Perth but getting the mare over there wasn’t possible,’’ Martin said.
“Chris said knowing that Fiesta ran fourth in The Hunter last year that this was the right race for her. She has the visitor’s draw but she is flying at present and we have a confident jockey in Brenton Avdulla.’’

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