Berry and Warner’s better halves, Sharnee and Candice, were also on the yacht and are good friends.
Open and shut case
Goulburn trainer John Bateman had a good excuse for hanging around in Sydney and celebrating the win of Greenspan in the Highway Handicap.
The state’s wild bushfires closed the highways back down towards Canberra, which forced Bateman to organise some stables across town at Warwick Farm. He planned to return home this morning with Greenspan, the $35,250 winner’s pay cheque and potentially a little hangover.
Bjorn again and again and again
Bjorn Baker walked away with a treble at Randwick when Spencer joined stablemates Edison and Sophiella in the winner’s circle.
Baker spent most of the week inspecting yearlings in the Hunter Valley.
Good move for Taniko
James Cummings is due back from a pre-Christmas US family holiday on Tuesday, but as soon as he found out the races had been shifted from Warwick Farm to Randwick, he texted his staff to say: ‘‘Tommy will be happy.’’
Why? When Tommy Berry hopped off Godolphin’s tiny but reliable Taniko last start at Rosehill he said it was a shame there was no suitable race for her second-up at Randwick.
You can only imagine the relief when the racing Gods (OK, mayb
e it was just the stewards) moved the racing east.
‘‘I’ve ridden her quite a bit now the past two preps, mostly at Randwick, and a couple of times I’ve ridden her at Rosehill she hasn’t cornered very well. She gets off the bridle and becomes off balanced,’’ Berry said.
‘‘She’s a confidence horse and you need her on the bridle.’’
No ducking out
There were whispers that Chris Waller was about to lose his trusty deputy, Charlie Duckworth, who was supposedly ready to branch out and head into a training partnership.
But it turns out the whispers are just that. Duckworth isn’t going anywhere and is more than happy working alongside the country’s premier trainer.
Old mates act
Peter Miers, the gun jockey who enjoyed plenty of success riding in Hong Kong, was spotted at Randwick where a horse he part-owns, Hiroko, ran third in the Highway Handicap.
Miers won the last ‘‘flag-start’’ race run in Sydney in 1984.
He was rubbing shoulders with Golden Slipper-winning jockey Cliffy Clare, who piloted long shot Sweet Embrace in the 1967 edition.
Barely 1200 people attended HQ, a far cry from the crowds Miers and Clare would have enjoyed competing in front of during their heyday.
Kris Lees, the Newcastle horseman who prepared winner Asharani, has welcomed the arrival of a few internationals into his stable as he maps out their rich autumn assaults. Cox Plate runner Danceteria, Crystal Mile winner Ironside, Raheen House and Melbourne Cup runner Mustajeer all now call the Hunter home.
Team Snowden’s Redzel is back in work and loving life and being set for a first-up crack at the Lightning Stakes in Melbourne, the Flemington feature he was just beaten in as the odds-on pop in 2018.
Christian covers rugby league for The Sydney Morning Herald.