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Page last updated at 06:19 GMT, Thursday, 10 June 2010 07:19 UK
Royal Ascot 2010: the Radio Berkshire guide
by Sasha Hooper
Radio Berkshire's racing expert

Yeats Gold Cup Ascot
Johnny Murtagh and Yeats land the Ascot Gold Cup at last year's Royal meeting

Where has this year gone? It only seems like yesterday that I was at Royal Ascot with Tim Dellor and the team.

I was heavily pregnant and working out how to give birth to number four on the seventh floor of the Grandstand.

Thankfully Otto had the decency to wait and I was able to witness some of the most memorable flat racing I have ever had the privilege to watch.

The highlight was Yeats winning the meeting's oldest and most important race - the Ascot Gold Cup.

Yeats was quite simply awesome, confirming his place in equine history books by becoming the only horse ever to have won the Group 1 contest on four consecutive occasions.

With Yeats now enjoying his new career at stud, we will not be lucky enough to see him attempt to retain his crown this year. But Royal Ascot 2010 is set to be as fabulously exciting as ever.

The Royal county not only hosts this highly prestigious fixture in both the racing and social diary, Berkshire also boasts a glut of those individuals that actual make the whole thing possible - trainers, jockeys and, of course, the horses.

With this in mind here are some of our neighbours to look out for next week (15-19 June).

JOCKEYS

Martin Dwyer
Martin Dwyer won the Flat Ride of the Year award in 2003

Martin Dwyer

Born June 28, 1975 in Aintree, Merseyside, Dwyer is a passionate Everton supporter.

He reached racing nirvana by winning the holy grail of flat races in 2006, when he partnered Sir Percy to Derby glory in sensational style.

This was his second Classic success at Epsom after winning the Oaks aboard Casual Look in 2003. In total, Dwyer has won six Group One races in his career.

He is married to Claire, daughter of Lambourn-based racehorse trainer William Muir.

Aboard Phoenix Reach, Dwyer had notable international success by winning the Canadian International Stakes in 2003, the Hong Kong Vase in 2004 and then the Dubai Sheema Classic in 2005.

He will also be remembered for his partnership with the legendary Persian Punch, on whom he won the Flat Ride of The Year award in 2003.

Dwyer is enjoying a great start to the 2010 season, on a 17% strike rate. If you had been following him from the start of this season for every £1 stake you placed on him, he would have given you (as of 6 June) a +£166.34 return, the highest of any jockeys riding currently.

Richard Hughes
Jockey Richard Hughes is the son of National Hunt trainer, Dessie Hughes

Richard Hughes

Born January 11, 1973 in Dublin, he is the son of successful National Hunt trainer, Dessie Hughes.

The majority of his rides come from trainer Richard Hannon, who is also his father-in-law and, from 2001 to 2007, was retained by the owner Prince Khalid Abdullah.

Hughes finished second in the 2009 Jockeys Championship title, amassing over £2m in prize money.

He is usually red hot at the Royal Meeting. It is rare that he does not pick up at least one big winner at Royal Ascot and last year it came in the form of not only Paco Boy in the Queen Anne Stakes, but also Canford Cliffs in the Coventry Stakes.

Jimmy Fortune
Jimmy Fortune was born in Ireland and moved to England in 1987

Jimmy Fortune

Born in Country Wexford, Fortune first took his licence out as a jockey in 1987 before moving to England from Ireland.

Although he has never been Champion Jockey, since 1998, Fortune is consistently good at winning valuable races and has amassed over £17.5m in prize money in the last 12 years.

In January this year, he controversially lost his job as stable jockey to John Gosden but, with 16 Group One winners to his name (including four in 2009) and a wealth of experience to draw on, there is no reason that now, as a freelance jockey, the big winners will not continue to flood in.

TRAINERS

Barry Hills
Trainer Barry Hills, now aged 73, is a racing legend

Barry Hills

At 73 years of age, Barry Hills is quite simply a legend in the racing industry.

Despite recent health concerns and beating throat cancer, Hills continues to train from Lambourn with as much determination as ever.

He took his training licence out in 1969, some 41 years ago, after a winning bet enabled him to set himself up in business.

Since then, Hills has won 11 Classics, a staggering 25 Group One races in England, France and Ireland and continues to land gambles in the big handicaps.

He has maintained his position in the top 10 English trainers for 40 years and trained over 3000 winners but the Epsom Derby still eludes him.

Hills has five sons. Twins Michael and Richard are highly successful flat jockeys, John is a racehorse trainer in Lambourn also, Charlie is Barry's assistant and George works in racehorse bloodstock in America.

Mick Channon
Mick Channon started life as a professional footballer

Mick Channon

Channon started his professional life as a very successful footballer, playing chiefly for Southampton, Manchester City, Norwich City and England.

He always had an interest in horse racing during his football career and, after retiring from professional football he began working as an assistant trainer, before becoming a licensed trainer in his own right in 1990 with 10 horses in his care in Lambourn.

Channon then moved to the West Ilsley stables near Newbury, formerly owned by the Queen, and began to increase his number of horses, eventually ending up with almost 200.

In 2002 he ended the season with 123 winners, topping the 100-mark for the first time in his career.

He is one of the sport's most respected trainers. Although he has yet to produce a winner of one of the Classics, he is a master at producing two-year old sprinters and has won 14 Group One races.

Among owners who have had horses with Channon are old colleagues and acquaintances from his footballing days, including Kevin Keegan, Chris Cattlin, Sir Alex Ferguson and the late Alan Ball.

Marcus Tregoning
Marcus Tregoning is a real gentleman of the sport of kings

Marcus Tregoning

A real gentleman of the sport, Tregoning has trained numerous high profile horses, including seven Group One winners.

An example of Marcus's success is unquestionably Sir Percy, who won the 2006 Derby with a last gasp run up the inside rail under inspirational riding from jockey Martin Dwyer.

Sir Percy was purchased from the yearling sales for only 16,000 guineas and, when he retired to stud in 2007, his career earnings totalled over £1,149,000.

HORSES

Geordieland
Jamie Spencer on Geordieland at Royal Ascot in 2007

Geordieland

Trained by Jamie Osborne in Lambourn.

Unlike most flat racehorses who retire at four or five, Geordieland is now in his ninth year and continues to be as consistent as ever when it comes to being placed - from 35 starts he has notched up 24 placings, including seven wins (three of which were Group Two).

Last year, Geordieland finished second behind Yeats in the Group One Gold Cup and his connections will hope he goes one better.

Equiano

Trained by Barry Hills, Equiano is a very smart five-year-old, who won at Royal Ascot in 2009.

He has had a very good start to this season, winning two races on the bounce and then narrowly missing out on a hat-trick when beaten half a length in May at Haydock.

Equiano is attempting to win the Group One Kings Stand Stakes on Tuesday for the second year in a row.

Caracciola
Caracciola is the oldest horse to ever have won at Royal Ascot

Caracciola

The oldest horse to have ever won at Royal Ascot at the age of 12 last year. In training with Nicky Henderson, he has won 15 races both on the flat and over jumps.

At 13 now, Caracciola is looking to retain his title by running in the Queen Alexander Stakes on the Saturday of Royal Ascot.




SEE ALSO
Royal Ascot Explorer
03 Mar 10 |  People & Places
In Pictures: Royal Ascot 2010
17 May 10 |  People & Places
Tighter dresscode at Royal Ascot
17 Jun 08 |  Berkshire
Royal Ascot meeting schedule
07 May 10 |  Horse Racing
How to impress at Ascot
16 Jun 08 |  Horse Racing
Royal Ascot photos - day one
16 Jun 09 |  Horse Racing
Royal Ascot photos - day two
17 Jun 09 |  Horse Racing

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