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Le Berry back on track after prevailing in furious duel with stablemate

Le Berry with the winning connections after the Prix Heros XII
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Le Berry made a winning return to action in the Grade 3 Prix Heros XII on his first start since suffering his one and only defeat over fences in the Grand Steeple-Chase de Paris back in May. 

But he was made to show all of his class by stablemate General En Chef, who ensured the David Cottin-trained pair took the field along at a much faster clip than is generally the case in trial races over the Auteuil chase course.

"When we galloped him at Compiegne that really woke him up and he has been much more willing in his work since," said Cottin, as he then looked ahead to next month's Weekend International de l’Obstacle meeting. "It's done him a lot of good mentally and assuming he recovers OK from this race, we'll head to the Prix la Haye Jousselin."

Le Berry was not absolutely foot perfect at the water jump in front of the stands and returned with a small cut to his off-hind leg.

Cottin added: "General En Chef settled very well over hurdles the other day but he was a bit keener in front today so we'll have to get some more work into him because if he goes that freely in the Haye Jousselin he won't get home. But it was a really good run."

L'Autonomie in charge

L'Autonomie continued her domination of the French hurdling scene with a 14th Graded success, landing the Prix Carmarthen by an easy four and a half lengths from Folsom Prison.

Trainer Francois Nicolle has made no secret of his desire to test the six-year-old daughter of Blue Bresil with a trip to Britain but is yet to convince the mare's owners.

"She has become a lot more mature and settles a lot better than she used to," said Nicolle. "She could go much faster but we have got her to switch off and really ration her effort. 

"That will help her come the Grand Prix d'Automne over a longer trip and in heavier ground. She's not giving herself such a hard race and she keeps that special something for the end."

Nicolle added: "I'd love to take her to Britain but Monsieur Coiffier is not that keen on the idea. It's my great regret when it comes to this horse."

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It's done him a lot of good mentally and assuming he recovers OK from this race, we'll head to the Prix La Haye Jousselin
E.W. Terms