Tommy Berry headed into Golden Slipper day last Saturday optimistic he could challenge for the five group 1 races. But a Tuesday morning gallop on Stay Inside has him confident he can take home a third Golden Slipper this weekend.
Berry knows what it takes to win the Slipper after winning on Overreach in 2013 and Vancouver in 2015. Even though Stay Inside was the second favourite last Saturday, Berry had his doubts about the colt.
But when he left Randwick on Tuesday, Berry knew he was set to once again be a main player in the Slipper.
“I thought he worked well last week but he didn’t blow me away. It was just nice strong work leading into the Slipper,” Berry said. “But his work was different [on Tuesday morning]. He was a lot sharper and he was bouncing off the track after it.
“There were a few little things he did while I was on his back just really impressed me. I think the extra week has really helped him.”
The Slipper meeting being pushed back by a week because of Sydney’s big wet means Stay Inside again has three weeks between runs. That was the gap between his first two wins and his third run, where Stay Inside had no luck when fourth to Anamoe in the Todman Stakes.
“It would have been two weeks from the Todman to the Golden Slipper if was run on Saturday, but now he has the three weeks, which has worked for him in the past,” Berry said. “He has obviously enjoyed the extra week because he felt different.
“I came back and said, ‘I think he is better’ to [trainer] Michael Freedman, and he agreed.”
Berry will ride two other group 1 favourites on Saturday – Mo’unga in the Rosehill Guineas, and Funstar in the George Ryder Stakes.