Buy Me A Beer Award…. By Tommy From Campbelltown

Hi Fans and Punters,

We are into Autumn now and the big races are upon us. Very sad that we cannot have one tv channel dedicated to showing the feature races but that is what massive egos create………an unfixable war. The greatest example of what a joke it has all become is the fact that the two feature Group 1’s yesterday for 3yo’s, the Australian Guineas and the Randwick Guineas were run 20 minutes apart on the same day. Surely a black mark on our sport. Sadly, and seemingly unfixable whilst we have the current self-proclaimed genii (plural of genius) running the game.

Having got that off my chest the racing this week has been great. And the effort by Navesh Ramdani and Lindsay Murphy to get Randwick up and running yesterday was fantastic. I have had a few beers with Lindsay over the years and even more with his son Patrick, so no need for them to buy me anymore.

This week’s Award goes to the bloke in racing that everyone, and I mean everyone loves. And that is saying something. Most of us in racing have enemies. It is the nature of competitive sport. But I have never heard anyone say a bad word about Tommy Berry. He is this week’s winner.

I have known him since he was a child running around Warwick Farm. I had my first ever horse trained there by Steve Englebrecht and I met the twins, Tommy and Nathan when they had just started walking. In a strange twist of fate, one of my mates ended up teaching them at school. He obviously did a fairly lousy job.

I remember taking my son to the races at Nowra when he was about 3 and Tommy was there and gave him a set of goggles. Little Tommy still has them to this day. And I clearly remember when Tommy won the Golden Slipper on Vancouver, he was strapping horses at Nowra the next day. True story.

Tommy rode the bog at Randwick yesterday superbly. In fact, he kicked off a big week by riding a Group 1 winner in Hong Kong, Helene Paragon, last Sunday. Yesterday at Randwick he rode 3 winners and 4 placings including a placing on Chautauqua in an amazingly confident ride which deserved victory.

He went to the Stewards prior to the first and told them he was going to come down the outside fence aboard Frolic because he figured the best going was out there. How right he was. He sailed past the hot pot She Will Reign and Tommy was so close to the outside fence that he snatched a pie out of Ron Dufficy’s hand in the closing stages.

He then prevailed on Rocket Commander, a Canberra trained horse and although it was not a major race, it had special significance when Tommy dedicated the win to trackwork rider Riharna Thomson who lost her life this week after a fall. May she rest in peace.

Tommy then won the main race, the Guineas aboard Inference. Settling last in a big field, he again took a few palings off the outside fence when he made his run and swept to victory on this very promising stayer.

Tommy has gone to a new level, ironically since we lost his twin brother Nathan. I have said it before and I will say it again, there is no doubt that Nathan rides with Tommy in every race and his passing, which could have easily made a lesser person give up on life, actually inspired Tommy to go to that next level.

He is in a good place these days riding big race winners all over the world and settling down to family life with Sharnee and Kaidan.

Tommy, I don’t see you slumming it at Nowra much these days, but I know we will catch up soon. And when we do my little brother, you can buy me a beer.

Until next week this has been Tommy from Campbelltown……………….signing off.

Follow me on twitter @wpasterfield

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