Alan Puts in Early Call for Flat Start; ROB CAN GIVE BERRY A FLYING START
Byline: GARRY OWEN (Gordon Brown)
LIKE his father Jack before him, Alan Berry aways tries to make a flying start to the new Flat season. And with most of his horses ready to hit the track running when the stalls open on Thursday, Berry gives The Punter readers the lowdown on the pick of his Cockerham stable early movers.AS usual the team are fit enough, but one or two are still hanging onto their winter coats as it's been so cold and wet.
But they have been working well and hopefully we'll get a few winners racked up soon after the campaign starts.
Last year we had more than 70 winners, about the same as my first season, but I was a little disappointed with that as I'd hoped we'd get nearer the 100 mark. But having said that it was miserable weather and we also lost a lot of meetings in our area due to the foot and mouth disease.
My dad always wanted to win the Ayr Gold Cup but I've no real big ambition like that. Like most of your punters, I'll just be happy enough to keep on having plenty of winners!
FAIRGAME MAN is jointly-owned by Sir Robert Ogden and Sir Alex Ferguson and they don't have a lot to do with many losers. Like of a lot of juveniles, he didn't do much in his three-year-old season but Sir Robert and Sir Alex are used to winning and he should have a much better time of things this term.
Robert Aird has had horses in the yard for ages so I'd better mention INDIAN MUSIC. He always holds his own in little handicaps and claimers and the plan is to start him off early at a Scottish meeting.
MAMMA'S BOY is owned by my mother and he's has won six times round Musselburgh where he's 7lb better there than anywhere else. He's a decent little handicapper and he loves to hear his feet rattle.
NIFTY MAJOR won on the Polytack at Lingfield last backend and he's grown up a little bit. He's owned by Scotsman Roy Peebles and he's a likable sort of horse. We're looking at a race for him at Doncaster or one of the early meetings at Musselburgh.
PALACEGATE TOUCH is an old star. He's a 12-year-old now and he's won 33 races, just one off the record set in the 1970's by Le Garcon d'Or. He's been having a little break at mum and dad's place but he'll be back in action shortly and we're determined to beat - or at least equal - the record. The old boy looks really well at the moment and I don't mean my dad!
Like a lot of ours, PERSIAN FAYRE is Scottish owned and he's given Murray Grubb from Kirkcaldy some great times. He may be 10 but he rarely misses Ayr races and he loves the place. He's a smashing little horse to have around and we'll again try to find something for him in Scotland.
It doesn't look as if RED MILLENNIUM has grown that much during the winter, but she's filled out a little bit which is always a good sign. The first early target for her is the Listed race at Bath she won last season and she's the type of filly we might campaign abroad in Group company.
It would be nice to see ZIETUNZEEN do well this season as she was placed in some good races in 2001. …