Emma Berry

Seven Days: Who Bears Wins

'Industry heavyweights' seems to have been the buzz phrase of the last few weeks, and we have a few of those in our long-running 12-to-follow competition organised by my husband every Flat and National Hunt season. Those competing this summer include several leading Irish stud masters, bloodstock agents, trainers, breeders, sales company executives, and the head of the Tote. And they are all currently trailing in the wake of an 11-year-old boy who was shrewd enough to include Little Big Bear in his list. What a selection that was. Mind...

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Seven Days: Homebred Heroes

Goodwood's trio of Group 1 races all went the way of owner-breeders, results that are both pleasing to see for the people who invest so much thought and money into the sport over generations, and which also highlight how hard it can be for prospective owners to get into horses at the top level. This season, ten European Classics have been won by homebreds, with two of those, Sammarco (Ire) (Camelot {GB}) and Mangoustine (Fr) (Dark Angel {Ire}), having been offered for sale by their breeders but bought back. Only...

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Seven Days: A Big, Big Moment

An unusually quiet Sunday on the European circuit allows a pause before the meeting that should only ever be referred to as Glorious Goodwood, and also some reflection on a truly special result at Ascot on Saturday afternoon. William Muir, a baby-faced veteran of the training ranks who now shares his licence with Chris Grassick, assessed the greatest win of his 30-year training career as "a big, big moment", and he deserves to enjoy that moment for days and weeks to come.  By now, the story of Pyledriver (GB) (Harbour...

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Seven Days: Much Ado About Frankie

Such a high-profile split, whether temporary or not, between Frankie Dettori and the John and Thady Gosden stable, has naturally dominated the headlines of the last week. Whatever one's thoughts of the events during and post-Royal Ascot, there was no mistaking the affection in which Dettori is held among racegoers as he was cheered back into the winner's enclosure on his sole ride in Britain since the Saturday of the royal meeting. He has nothing booked for this week either, but intriguingly Dettori has been snapped up by Charlie Appleby...

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Seven Days: A Coronation in Chantilly

Just when you thought a fully-charged Royal Ascot couldn't be topped, along came Hollie Doyle.  The royal meeting was sadly missing The Queen for all five days this year but, France's republican tendencies aside, there are few in the racing world who would deny that Doyle is now the queen of Chantilly after reaching yet another milestone to become the first woman to ride a Group 1 Classic winner in Europe. Her great triumph came aboard Nashwa (GB) (Frankel {GB}) for Imad Al Sagar, who was achieving an important landmark...

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Seven Days: A Haggas Masterclass

It hasn't been a bad week for William Haggas. The Somerville Lodge stable cat has recently gone AWOL for fear that he might be entered up at Catterick and would have to live up to the extraordinarily rich vein of form currently being exhibited by the larger quadrupeds whose fetlocks he rubs up against during evening stables. Over the last fortnight 41 horses have been sent out by the trainer and 17 of them have returned home with a trophy to add to the cabinet. Most impressively, 10 of those...

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Seven Days: Abundance

Can we have too much of a good thing? When it comes to racing in the spring the answer is almost certainly not, but the rapidity with which all the decent action takes place can make it difficult to take it all in. For example, in the last 11 days we have had three Derby favourites. First the horse who had held that honour all winter, Luxembourg (Ire) (Camelot {GB}), who was then replaced by his stable-mate Stone Age (Ire) (Galileo {Ire}), all the rage after his Derby Trial victory...

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Seven Days: Bringing Out The Big Guns

A few weeks ago the bookmaker Fitzdares made Dubawi (Ire) favourite to be champion sire this year for the first time, and perhaps no horse deserves it more than Darley's utterly dependable 20-year-old. However, the race to the top will not be easy, particularly judging by the apparent strength in depth of the challenge of Frankel's offspring for this year's major races. Though the reigning champion, as well as the Gosden stable and owner-breeders Cheveley Park Stud, were dealt a blow by the withdrawal of Inspiral (GB) from Sunday's QIPCO...

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Seven Days: Advance Appleby Fair

As statements of intent go, the results for Charlie Appleby's stable over recent weeks speak loudly as to his determination to retain the trainers' championship in 2022. Twenty-three runners have emerged from Moulton Paddocks in the last fortnight, and 13 of them have returned home as winners, most importantly Native Trail (GB) (Oasis Dream {GB}), the champion 2-year-old in Europe last year whose triumph return in the G3 Craven S. got the season off on a proper footing. Of that baker's dozen, four were by the trainer's reliable old friend...

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Seven Days: On The Classic Trail

It wouldn't be Craven week without a brisk wind blasting across Newmarket Heath, but for those of you considering spending afternoons paddock-side perusing the physical merits of some of this year's Classic contenders, the encouraging news is that the temperature is rising in East Anglia this week, along with the quality of action on the turf. France and Ireland are ahead of Britain on the Classic trials front, and there is plenty to reflect upon in that regard, but a brief look ahead to the Newmarket and Newbury trials this...

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Seven Days: The Price Of Progress

Even at this early stage of the season, we can be forgiven for mentally fast-forwarding to the first weekend of June at Epsom. It is after all the best weekend of the year, featuring the best race of the year.  There are plans afoot in Newmarket - plans being mooted by the Jockey Club, no less - to dig up one of the best turf gallops on the Heath to install a new all-weather racecourse and training facility. At a time when there's concern as to having enough horses to...

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The Weekly Wrap: While The Light Lasts

Last orders are being called for the European Flat turf season. Cheltenham and Aintree have been knocking loudly on the door but there are still some important scores to settle on the level, and in Paris, where this correspondent was fortunate enough to be billeted this weekend, the major Group 1 action was conducted in a blaze of life-affirming autumnal glory that may almost sustain us until the spring. The four Group 1 races around the world on Saturday, in England, France and Australia, went to the offspring of Irish-based...

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