Berry has plenty on Australia to-do list

Tommy Berry on Curren Mirotic
Curren Mirotic (JPN) ridden by Tommy Berry before Emirates Melbourne Cup at Flemington Racecourse on November 01, 2016 in Flemington, Australia. (Sarah Ebbett/Racing Photos)

Tommy Berry will give his all to a stint in Hong Kong but unfinished business in Australia has made him cautious about making Asia his permanent home.

The dual Golden Slipper winner will ride at Randwick on Saturday before beginning a one-year contract with Hong Kong trainer John Moore on Monday.

If all goes well, he will seek a contract extension but he has already set himself a limit on how many years he’ll remain a part of one of the world’s most lucrative racing scenes.

He acknowledged Hong Kong-based Zac Purton’s Caulfield Cup victory in 2014 as proof riders still retains opportunities to take out in Australia’s premier races.

But the three-time TJ Smith Stakes winner expressed doubt he would follow Purton’s path of notching up a decade in Hong Kong.

“I’ll look to do a few years. It could be one year or five years but 10 years doesn’t interest me,” Berry told Sky Sports Radio.

“There’s a lot I still haven’t done (in Australia).”

Purton, 34, won the Brisbane premiership as an apprentice in 2003 before moving to Sydney and then Hong Kong in 2007.

He has since established himself as one of the premier riders, ending Douglas Whyte’s 13-year premiership reign in 2013/14 and winning several Group One races.

Regardless of what Berry is considering long-term, his retaining trainer expects the 26-year-old is ready for the challenge and capable of replicating the skills developed in Australia.

“I’d say he’s a complete rider and Hong Kong is now the right place for him,” Moore said.

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