Masters and apprentice: Big names hope Sherry will be toast of the town
After a successful season and weeks of planning, Team Sherry makes its city debut on the Kensington track at Randwick on Saturday.
While young Irishman Tom Sherry will be the name beside five rides at what has become his home track, he knows his quick rise has come as much because of his mentors.
“I didn’t come here to ride [in races] – I just wanted to ride trackwork – but then I saw an opportunity,” Sherry said. “When a chance to do an apprenticeship was there, I took it, but I didn’t really have high expectations.
“If I tell the truth, I didn’t think I would be in Sydney. I'm very lucky to have had great help.”
Sherry was signed up by Mark Newnham and was an immediate success in country races last year. His natural talent and claim found him regularly in the winner’s circle.
He then progressed to the provincial circuit where he has ridden 54 of his 93 winners and the calls grew for him to bring his three-kilogram claim to town.
That is where his inner circle stepped in.
Newnham and Sherry's manager, Melbourne Cup-winning jockey Wayne Harris, knew the development of the rider would be better if he learnt his craft away from one of the toughest riding markets in the world.
“We don’t just want to make a good jockey, we want him to be a good person,” Newnham said. “Of course riding winners is important, but it is what you learn about dealing with owners and trainers at these places that holds you in good stead.
“That is part of being in the country and provincial tracks; you are winning and learning on and off the track.”
Harris is not just a booking agent, he's a mentor. He goes through Sherry’s rides and has been part of his rise and improvement.
“In the start I didn’t have any idea of pace or about where I was in a race,” Sherry said. "Mark and Wayne would tell me what I was doing wrong."
Sherry learnt there was more to riding than being on the best horse.
“We talk after nearly every meeting,” Harris said. “You get confidence from winning, but it's those rides you don’t get right where you learn. If you don't learn you don't take the next