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Holy smoke - Emperor's son is about to become centurion

Berlusca: returns to the scene of his most recent victory in June
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2.10 Haydock
Smarkets Betting Exchange Handicap | 1m2f | RUK

He was bred by Value Bloodstock and could hardly have proved better value for money – Berlusca, bought for just 9,500gns at three, bids for his 12th win on his 100th appearance.

"He's the winningmost son of Holy Roman Emperor and he's been a great servant," Shropshire-based trainer David Loughnane said on Wednesday.

"He came here at the beginning of last summer as we're not far from the owner Peter Ball – he's up the road in Wigan, Haydock is his local track."

Berlusca, a seven-time Wolverhampton winner who is now reckoned better on turf, was a strong-finishing fourth at Chester just four days ago.

"He was probably just a little further back than he ideally wanted to be but he flew home and he goes to Haydock with a great record there," Loughnane said.

Win or lose, retirement looks still to be some way off for a horse who made his debut just five days after Pour Moi won the Derby.

"We all get a bit crabby now and then as we get a bit older but he's been very sound and well and he looks great," Loughnane said.

"While he's enjoying it, who are we to tell him he can't do it any more? He's enjoying what he's doing, he's sound with no signs of injury or anything like that so we'll let him tell us when he's ready to retire."

Ball, who will be attending with a number of family and friends, added: "David’s done an absolutely fantastic job with him and he’s the horse of a lifetime. I’ll never have another one like him."

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While he's enjoying it, who are we to tell him he can't do it any more?
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