Tommy Berry, thrown a Melbourne Cup lifeline by Gai Waterhouse earlier in the week, says the decision by racing's first lady to unseat him on Glencadam Gold for Caulfield Cup was the right one.
Cast aside for Hall Of Fame hoop Jim Cassidy only a fortnight after partnering Glencadam Gold to a Group 1 demolition of The Metropolitan, Berry won a vote of confidence from Waterhouse and the European import's owners by being reinstated for the $6 million Melbourne Cup on Tuesday.
Quizzed on whether the he had been affected by the decision after Glencadam Gold weakened to beat home only three runners as the Caulfield Cup favourite, Berry, 21, said Waterhouse made the right call.
"She looks after me quite well and people probably don't quite realise that," he told the Mercury.
"She did the right thing by keeping me off him last Saturday [week] because Caulfield is quite a difficult track. As you can see, he didn't go that great.
"She was happy to have me back on board and she's always done the right thing by me so I can't complain."
Glencadam Gold sent a scare through the camp after failing to gallop at Flemington trackwork on Tuesday morning, and was instead sent to the beach to treat a hoof complaint.
He wasn't among the acceptors for the Lexus Stakes (2500m) on Saturday, but Berry said it was a precaution to ensure all was well ahead of the race that stops the nation.
"I just don't think they want to chance anything by running on Saturday," he said.
"He's already qualified for the cup - there's no problem there.
"He's very fit. He had the Caulfield Cup run, Metrop, Newcastle Cup, so you couldn't get him any fitter.
"A little bit of freshness in his legs isn't going to hurt either.
"I'll do a lot of homework on the track and walk the track every day to get a good look at it. I'll still head down to Melbourne on Saturday and enjoy Derby Day down there and soak up the atmosphere."
The spring has been a watershed campaign for Berry, who scored his first Group 1 success aboard Darley's Epaulette in the Golden Rose before steering Waterhouse's Fat Al and Glencadam Gold to a red letter double on Super Saturday, October 6.
Fat Al's Epsom win saw Waterhouse equal the seven victories of her legendary father Tommy Smith, while success in The Metropolitan established a new benchmark of eight.
And now Berry's convinced that despite being the stable's No 2 rider behind Nash Rawiller, he may be able to deliver Waterhouse the maiden Melbourne Cup she craves.
"Every time she throws a bone at me I seem to pay her back quite well," he said.
"Hopefully we can keep that going in the Cup. You can't get much bigger and you never underestimate Gai."
Berry said he had spoken to Cassidy in the aftermath of the Caulfield Cup and was convinced Flemington will present a much better proposition for the free-striding Glencadam Gold, who has plunged to $51 in Melbourne Cup markets.
"Jimmy said that back to Flemington will suit him real well and he's a horse that you've got to get into a rhythm," Berry said.
"He had to do a little bit of work to cross the other day and he got fired up a little bit too.
"Jim just didn't think he got around the track that well [in the Caulfield Cup]. Once he turned the corner around the 1000 he hopped on the wrong leg."