Emma Berry

The Weekly Wrap: Times Are A-Changin'

It's Craven week, followed by Greenham weekend, both coming on the back of some interesting Classic trials in Ireland and France. It is, as some people prefer to say in midwinter, the most wonderful time of the year.  There's no doubt, however, that the biggest racing story of the year has already happened. However much she wants to play down the gender card, Rachael Blackmore winning the Grand National aboard Minella Times (Ire) (Oscar {Ire}) was huge. In fact, Saturday was a big day on both sides for the world...

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The Weekly Wrap: Fools Rush In
The Weekly Wrap: Fools Rush In

If there was a lesson to be learned in the last week, it is not to issue press releases on April Fool's Day. The great news that the Derby has a new multi-year sponsor, after being dropped by Investec last year as the pandemic took hold, was sidetracked by its release date. It can be hard to tell real news from fake news these days but Cazoo, an online car dealership with an amusing name but serious credentials, is indeed the new sponsor of the 'Derby festival' (if we must—I...

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The Weekly Wrap: Old Guard, New Blood

When we wrapped up last Flat season, the lofty assumption was that by the start of this new one we would be back to some semblance of normality. How wrong could we have been? After a brutal winter, the pandemic is only now easing to the point where a limited number of owners were permitted to attend racecourses in England and Scotland from yesterday (Monday).  There are not too many areas within racing in which Britain is ahead of Ireland or France—witness the Irish domination of the Cheltenham Festival and...

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Leon Penate Hoping To Reign For Spain

RIYADH, Saudi Arabia—At the inaugural Saudi Cup meeting 12 months ago, the International Jockeys' Challenge broke new ground in allowing female jockeys to compete against their male counterparts. Hollie Doyle will notch another milestone on Saturday when she becomes the first female to ride in the Saudi Cup aboard Extra Elusive (GB), fulfilling her obligation as the retained rider for Arab owner Imad Al Sagar. That spirit of inclusivity has been extended further this year by the introduction of the Al Rajhi Bank Saudi International Handicap. Run over 2,100 metres...

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U.S. Quintet Tunes Up For Saudi Cup

RIYADH, Saudi Arabia—A number of trainers with horses engaged in Saturday's Saudi Cup have been unable to travel but their horses and exercise riders have shipped in, mostly over last weekend, for the second running of the $20 million contest at King Abdulaziz Racecourse. The 14-strong field includes two locally-trained horses, Great Scot (GB) (Requinto {Ire}) and Alzahzaah (KSA) (Worldly), who face competition from Britain, Japan and Bahrain as well as five runners from the United States. For most of the American contingent, stronger work had taken place on the...

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Classic Hero Mishriff Returns To Riyadh

RIYADH, Saudi Arabia—The world is a much different place 12 months on from the inaugural Saudi Cup meeting when the full horror of the Coronavirus crisis was only beginning to become apparent. So many of racing's key events have been disrupted since then and, with many countries still in lockdown or under severe travel restrictions, it is no small wonder that this year's meeting is able to proceed, even though the attendance will be markedly reduced from last year. Eschewing the obvious travel complications, a posse of 27 European-trained horses...

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Classic Sibling Awaited At Historic Röttgen

There can be no better breeding home run than for a mare to produce a Derby winner as her first foal. In the case of Gestüt Röttgen's homebred Wellenspiel (Ger) (Sternkoenig {Ger}), this auspicious entree to her stud career happened not once but twice, with her first two foals both becoming winners of the G1 Deutsches Derby. Windstoss (Ger) (Shirocco {Ger}) and his half-brother Weltstar (Ger) (Soldier Hollow {GB}) are the product of nine generations of Röttgen breeding, stretching back to the purchase of one of the stud's first mares,...

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David Doing A Wonderful Job Against Goliath

Triumph and disaster. In racing, the two are rarely far from each other. For David Menuisier to cast his mind back to last autumn will doubtless bring mixed emotions. At his local course of Goodwood on Sept. 23 he lost the horse who played an enormous part in the growing success of his stable, Thundering Blue (Exchange Rate). The 7-year-old's fatal injury in the listed Foundation S. was a cruel blow which brought the trainer and his partner Kim Johnstone to tears. But when the racing gods take, they so...

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Siyouni Comes Of Age

It is only a decade since the most expensive stallion at stud in France was Elusive City at €15,000. Yet to have runners at that stage were Le Havre (Ire) and Kendargent (Fr), who entered stud in 2010, followed by Siyouni (Fr) in 2011 and then Wootton Bassett (GB) the next year. Those are the four names who dominated the French sires' championship in 2020 and can take a large part of the credit for an increasingly dynamic stallion scene in France. Siyouni, who now commands a fee of €140,000...

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Say Hello, Wave Goodbye

It has been a year of change at Haras d'Etreham. In August it was announced that the farm's flagship stallion Wootton Bassett (GB) had been sold to Coolmore. The dominant Irish operation was wise to catch a rising tide but it is Etreham, and in particular Nicolas de Chambure, who must be credited with establishing the increasingly popular stallion.  If we accept the conservative estimate that only one in ten stallions really make it, then it is clear that finding Wootton Bassett's replacement will be no easy task. Perhaps Etreham...

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Across The Codes: Late Starter, Supa Finisher

Emma Berry's occasional look at the narrow divide between the Flat and National Hunt Supasundae (GB) was bred for those high summer days at Epsom, Ascot and Goodwood. By Galileo (Ire) and out of a Danehill half-sister to Group 1 winners Nathaniel (Ire) and Great Heavens (Ire), both of whom are also by Galileo, it was no stretch for his breeder Newsells Park Stud to have Classic aspirations for him when he arrived in this world in January 2010. Plan A didn't quite work out: Supasundae was bought in at...

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The Weekly Wrap: Positives To Be Found In Yearling Market

September ushered in the early rounds of the yearling sales in Europe, with the Goffs UK Premier, BBAG, Tattersalls Ascot and Arqana Select sales all having taken place within the last fortnight. Three of that quartet have at least been able to take place in their intended venues, albeit Arqana's flagship sale was three weeks later than usual. The one-day Tattersalls Ascot Yearling Sale was moved to Newmarket, and Park Paddocks will also host the Tattersalls Irelend September Sale next week, which has been reduced to two days from three,...

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