The progressive Hawkes’ trained Bandersnatch under Tommy Berry took the step to black type company when winning the $150,000, listed Fujitsu General Carrington Stakes (1400m) at Randwick on Saturday.
In four starts for the stable Bandersnatch has now won two and placed third and second in the others with Saturday’s win his sixth overall from just 16 starts.
The win also took Berry to the top of the Sydney metropolitan premiership after a treble on Saturday taking him to 55 wins to-date over James McDonald on 53.
Bandersnatch, with 54kg under Berry, had a serious fight with the top-weight Quackerjack (Not A Single Doubt) with 59kg, and while the pull in the weight certainly helped Bandersnatch showed his increasing race craft by pulling away over the final 75m to win by 3/4L.
Quackerjack was clear of Thy Kingdom Come (Lope De Vega) (53kg) with Rachel King and the margin of 1/2L.
The time was 1.21.51 on the Good 4 track with the final 600m in 34.53. Bandersnatch was the favourite rewarding supporters with $2.40 on fixed odds and $2.10 on the tote.
Tommy Berry poses for the winning photo with Bandersnatch, picture Sportpix.com.au
“He has had a great prep and obviously he is a new addition to our stable this time round. He won brilliantly first up at The Valley and unfortunately second up he was a bit stiff and unlucky not to win there and even here next time he probably laid in for a stride and that cost him the race. If he had the luck he would be going into this three from three,” said co-trainer Michael Hawkes.
“Tommy gave him a great ride, he jumped and travelled well. He got momentarily held up just before the point of the turn and got his head up and over raced a touch, but he was able to push out and once he kept him balanced he really hit the line. Once he got past the leader he started to accelerate.
“It has been a great effort by all to get this horse back to form and it is just a team effort,” he said.
“This race Team Hawkes has aimed him at for a while and that is why he had that prep run back to the `1200m (last start) which is a little bit short for him. But back to 1400m with the winkers on, as he did have a little think about it last time, he was just way to strong,” said Berry.
“He was bowling at the 600m and he just needed a bit of room and I was lucky that Nash (Passage Of Time) was not going that well.
“He still does a little bit wrong in his races, maybe a preparation away from being at his best hopefully,” he said.
Berry commented that he was very pleased to be on top of the premiership pointing out the strength of the Sydney riding bench, but he was also sure that McDonald would not rest in attempting to reclaim the lead.
Bandersnatch is a four-year-old gelding by Casino Prince out of the Falbrav mare Divine Faith and his wins and four placings have earned stakes of $397,430 for his connections of Mr F K Micheletto, Mr J Barrett, Mr C Barrett, Mr L Halloran-Gould, Mrs M Juric, Mr D A Ross, Mr M Coates, Mr C Allchin, Mr D A Clay, Mr M A Day, Mr L B Loughnan, Mr B T Loughnan, Mr G M Phillips, Mr D Power, Bavarian Racing, Bosco Bloodstock, Mlert Racing.
Treble for Tommy Berry, picture Sportpix.com.au
Carrington Stakes, photo finish picture ATC