Tommy Berry rides Curren Mirotic of Japan during a trackwork session at Werribee.
Tommy Berry rides Curren Mirotic of Japan during a trackwork session at Werribee. Vince Caligiuri

Japanese Cup invader 'not there to muck about'

RACING: After the muddling pace set in last year's Melbourne Cup, Sydney rider Tommy Berry has declared this year's edition will be a real staying test.

Booked to ride Japanese raider Curren Mirotic in Tuesday's Cup, Berry galloped the nine-year-old gelding at Werribee yesterday and later spoke to reporters.

"The Japanese have been a bit frustrated over the last few years that the Melbourne Cup seems to be getting run slower and slower,” Berry said.

"It's very frustrating for them when they have brought a few horses out that get back (in the field), but they have found a horse this year that races up on the pace and if the pace isn't there to suit us, we'll make it suit us.

"He's not out there to muck about. He'll be going out there making sure that it's a really strong-run race.”

Berry, who in June rode Curren Mirotic in a Group 1 over 2200m in Japan, was pleased with the gelding's work yesterday.

"It was nice work,” he said. "He's a happier horse (than in June). He's in great condition and his coat is a lot better - his coat was quite rough as it was a bit cool over there at the time - but with the sun on his back out here, he's really enjoying it.”

No nine-year-old has won the Melbourne Cup, but Curren Mirotic showed his ability over the trip when beaten by a short half-head in a Group 1 over 3200m on May 1 in Kyoto. In the same race the previous year - in his only other run over the trip - Curren Miotic finished third, beaten by a length.

Berry does not believe age will work against his mount.

"He's been well looked after and lightly raced and looks in great condition,” he said.

"He doesn't look or feel like a nine-year-old and we'll make it a true staying test on Tuesday.”

In other Melbourne Cup news, Caulfield Cup winner Jameka will be inspected this morning after shifting a shoe during trackwork yesterday.

No injury was detected by the vets but the decision was made to inspect the mare again the following day.

Jameka is the second favourite in the Melbourne Cup at $6, behind Godolphin's main hope, Hartnell ($4.60).


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