Hawkes praises top ride by Berry

Sunday Territorian - - SPORT - RAY THOMAS

WILD Planet con­trolled the race from in front and out­sprinted his ri­vals while Mil­i­tary Zone only gained ad­mir­ers in de­feat.

The boom three-year-olds ran the quinella as widely ex­cepted in the $300,000 Inglis Guineas (1400m) with Wild Planet tak­ing the hon­ours.

The Team Hawkes-trained Wild Planet had been luck­less in sev­eral fea­ture races this sea­son but star jockey Tommy Berry took luck out of the equa­tion with a bril­liant fron­trun­ning ride at Scone.

“The plan wasn’t to lead but when Wild Planet jumped so ‘good’, Tommy thought there was no point giv­ing up the lead,’’ co-trainer Michael Hawkes said.

“Tommy rode the horse per­fectly. He backed off the speed mid-race and the best part was from the 1000m to the 600m when he got some cheap sec­tion­als.

“Then in the straight he let the other horse get up out­side him be­fore he dropped the hamper and said let’s go.

“Wild Planet dug deep un­der pressure like he al­ways does, he’s a fighter, he’s a win­ner and he is go­ing the right way.’’

Wild Planet ($2.90) won by three-quar­ters of a length from Mil­i­tary Zone ($2.70 favourite) with To­tal Power ($21) a sim­i­lar mar­gin away third.

Berry said he was con­fi­dent Wild Planet would “kick hard and find an­other gear” when chal­lenged in the straight.

“I just waited for Mil­i­tary Zone to get within strik­ing dis­tance because I knew I had plenty of horse un­der­neath me,’’ Berry said.

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