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The Master Is Maturing Like Fine Wine

Jockey Tommy Berry is bullish about Master Of Wine’s upcoming campaign, kicking off in Saturday’s Group 1 Winx Stakes (1400m) at Randwick.

Berry is of the opinion that the European import has grown into his Australian surroundings, and that heading into this preparation, the galloper is far more settled and comfortable.

“He’s had a couple of preparations here in Australia now and he’s very familiar with the surroundings and he is a lot more relaxed than what we have seen from him in previous preparations,” Berry told Sky Racing on Tuesday.

“He’s just more mature.

“He’s still got to do that on race day, he can get a bit hot in the yard but I’m pretty confident he’s a much more furnished product than what he was last time.

“What he did in the Queen Elizabeth (during the autumn) was quite special considering we always knew he was still a preparation away from being at his best.”

Master Of Wine had a final hit out on Tuesday, having a quiet cruise around a 900m trial at Rosehill.

“He was a lot better behaved today,” Berry said.

“He was very fresh when I rode him the other day, he came out a bit slow when he reared up at the start.

“Today his barrier manners were a lot better and that saw him jump clean, he relaxed lovely for me and finished off well on the bridle.

“That was without his blinkers on, they will go on this Saturday and he’ll know it’s game day.”

Berry is confident that even though Master Of Wine’s targets are later in spring, the classy stayer could still run well first up over the 1400m.

“I didn’t expect as forward a showing from him first-up last time but he was obviously very strong back then,” he said.

“There’s a few other horses in the race that really need the mile, 2000 (metres) to find their best performances.

“He’s been trained to run really well first-up.”

Master Of Wine is prominent in the market for most of the spring features, and is $8 for the George Main Stakes, $10 for the Caulfield Cup, $13 for the Cox Plate, and $17 for the Melbourne Cup.