Racing: Berry takes the toff track

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FOR THOSE seeking an antidote to the stuffy elements of the Royal meeting the results fell perfectly yesterday.

Jack Berry, who used to sell live rabbits on Leeds market and take the family out to the Forton service station for egg and chips when a celebration was in order, won two races. His riding confederate was Carl Lowther, the 24-year-old son of a Blackburn motor mechanic and his hairdresser wife. "I thought we were having a good day when So Careful won the Ayr Gold Cup," Jack said. "But this is the ultimate." You could almost hear the baker's bicycle clattering over the cobbles.

The glory is unlikely to make a swollen-head of Lowther. He still makes evening stables at Berry's yard though he was spared the shovelling yesterday as he had to travel to Newmarket's evening meeting.

Lowther had to wait four years for his first ride for the guv'nor and there was also a span of 16 months between his first and second winner. That was a poignant success as it came on the day that his grandmother, May, the person that pushed him into racing, died. "Things have not stopped since then really," the jockey said.

A peculiarity of the Wokingham Stakes success of Selhurstpark Flyer (who was winning the race for the second consecutive year) and Bolshoi's King's Stand Stakes was the polarisation in manner of victory. The former is as tractable as a missile from a launchpad; he just lights up and goes. Bolshoi, on the other hand, takes some time to warm up, but goes swiftly from tepid to white hot.

Berry inadvertently left blinkers off the gelding yesterday but that made no difference to his performance. Bolshoi stumbled out of the stalls and was soon five lengths behind the swarm. "I just have to let him be and wait for him to find his own stride," Lowther said. "It can be a bit difficult when you see he's 10 lengths behind and there is only two and a half furlongs left. He does frighten you early on."

The King Edward VII Stakes was another cigar moment at the meeting for Henry Cecil. His Royal Anthem conquered Kilimanjaro just after the turn into the straight, the most controversial section of the race. Kilimanjaro was one of the slices of bread here, colliding with the filling Fruits Of Love, who in turn bounced off Courteous.

The official adjudication was that this squabble was caused by Michael Kinane, Kilimanjaro's partner, which looked a harsh conclusion, particularly to the jockey himself. "They've had their eyes shut all week and now they jump on me," he said.

The Irishman's four-day suspension for careless riding means he misses a race he has never won and covets most, the Irish Derby. Royal Anthem will not be at the Curragh either. "He will have a rest and then we will think about the King George VI & Queen Elizabeth Stakes," Cecil said. "Because he is so big [at 17.1 hands] I could not train him seriously as a two-year-old. I think he could be even better next year and a very good horse one day."

Michael Roberts was also banned, for two days, for his whip use on Germano in the Hardwicke Stakes. This went to Posidonas, who took advantage of a lacklustre display from Swain. Paul Cole's horse seemed to be poking his tongue out as he passed the nobles in the grandstand. Jack and Carl did much the same thing later.

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