Tommy Berry is backing his boss Gai Waterhouse's decision to switch Ecuador to the Epsom Handicap, even though he was caught off guard by the move.
"She likes to keep me on my toes," Berry said as it was confirmed Ecuador would come back in distance to run in the Epsom.
Waterhouse also has Ashokan and Spurtonic in the Epsom but as a $14 chance it is Ecuador who is the most fancied of the trio.
Ecuador's inclusion in the time-honoured Randwick mile gives Berry solid prospects of landing the Epsom-Metropolitan double for the second year in a row.
He will partner Julienas in the Metropolitan with the imported stayer on the third line of betting after his Colin Stephen Handicap win.
"If I can do that again I will be a happy jockey," Berry said.
Berry said it was impossible to second guess Waterhouse as she goes for an eighth Epsom win and a ninth victory in the Metropolitan.
"Gai's horses are always primed for this time of the year," Berry said.
"Going into Group One racing, who else would you want to be riding for?"
Waterhouse was absent from Randwick trackwork on Tuesday morning to oversee her Melbourne carnival team at Flemington.
In Ecuador's case, Berry said Waterhouse didn't miss too much as the stable tries to keep some speed in the four-year-old's legs.
"Gai will freshen him up this week," he said.
"He was a little bit weak at the end of 2000 metres last week but that was more to do with the strong wind and his weight."
Imported stayer Julienas has found form at the right time, improving on his Kingston Town Stakes placing to score a commanding Colin Stephen win on Saturday.
"It's not an overly strong field this year so he gets his chance," Berry said.