Hawkes state switch a tick for Crusader

Mandy Cottell
Tommy Berry is excited to be riding Masked Crusader again after his return from Victoria

The Hawkes family has become accomplished at switching horses between states and they will have two runners who fit that bill at Randwick.

Scarlet Dream returns to Sydney for Saturday's Gosford Gold Cup (2000m) after kicking off her campaign with two runs in Melbourne while promising three-year-old Masked Crusader has also made the trek north.

Tommy Berry will ride both and is hoping to be the beneficiary of Hawkes Racing's deft placement.

"When the Hawkes team switch states with their horses, they've got a great record winning first-up back in the new state," Berry said.

"They've been doing it for a long time and they've got it down-pat.

"It's a bit like a holiday for the horses. They have a trip away and it's something different for them."

Berry is especially excited to reunite with Masked Crusader in the Master Builders Association NSW Handicap (1200m).

He was aboard the gelding when he was beaten at his first start at Wyong in November and has been watching him with interest since.

Masked Crusader subsequently went to Melbourne and posted a dominant Caulfield victory then returned from a break with another impressive performance at Bendigo.

"He's an exciting horse and we've always had a lot of time for him," Berry said.

"He had his first start at Wyong and missed the kick by a few lengths but rattled home to finish fifth.

"I was pretty gutted they sent him to Melbourne after that because I was looking forward to riding him again.

"He has done all of his work in Melbourne, he was a really good winner there first up and he's drawn well (seven) to get a nice run on Saturday."

Masked Crusader has been well found by early punters and was odds-on favourite on Friday.