Vandoula Lass could send Tommy Berry into COVID-19 quarantine


“We will find out more about her on Saturday because the Randwick 1100m is a good test and it will show if she’s up to the Magic Millions.”

Vandoula Lass is a $2.10 favourite for the two-year-old race and is part of a good book of rides for Berry, including Laure Me In in the Summer Cup, Criminal Code, Travest and Starla.

“I think Laure Me In gets a good weight turnaround on Greysful Glamour in the Summer Cup from his last start and Criminal Code will be better on the big track,” he said.

Berry has fallen nine wins behind James McDonald, who is on 51 wins after a treble at Warwick Farm on Wednesday, and if he doesn’t go to the Magic Millions there would be a chance to make up some ground.

“I’d like to win the premiership and James has kicked clear, but he is going to Magic Millions, so won’t be there for a couple of weeks, which would be a good opportunity for me to catch up if I stay [in Sydney],” Berry said. “It makes it a tough decision.

“I’m taking next week off for a holiday with the family and it wouldn’t hurt me to extend it if I have to go to Queensland.”

Trainers Gai Waterhouse, John O’Shea and Paul Snowden have made plans to stay outside the Greater Sydney area after the weekend while leading jockeys Hugh Bowman and McDonald will quarantine following the Gosford Guineas meeting on Tuesday to meet the Queensland protocols.

Other trainers are monitoring the situation and will make decisions over the weekend.

McDonald sees it as the perfect chance to have an enforced break at the start of 2021 as he eyes a first Magic Millions Classic on either Breeders Plate winner Shaquero, who runs in Saturday’s Bruce McLachlan Stakes at Eagle Farm, or She’s All Class, the convincing Wyong Magic Millions winner.

“I would usually be over in New Zealand for a couple of weeks, so to do nothing for a week will give me a good break and freshen-up,” McDonald said.

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“I have a good ride in the [Magic Millions] two-year-old whichever one the stable wants me to ride. Shaquero is a good colt and the filly could not have been more impressive winning at Wyong.”

There is no question about the Magic Millions going ahead with the sale starting on January 12 and raceday on January 16. Magic Millions owner Gerry Harvey has already left Sydney to meet the COVID-19 requirements.

“I wouldn’t miss being on the Gold Coast at this time of the year,” Harvey said. “The sale is on, it’s just getting people from Sydney there that is a problem at the moment.

“I’ll have Christmas up here [on the NSW north coast] and then be able to go to the Gold Coast for the sale in a couple of weeks where I have some nice horses to sell.”

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