2008 winner of the Hennessy Cognac Gold Cup at Newbury…
Originally trained by Guillaume Macaire, at his stables at Les Mathes in the Charente-Maritimes region of France, Madison du Berlais was a model of consistency.In 11 outings for the Frenchman over hurdles and chases, he was placed nine times, though winning just the once, in a chase at Le Lion D’Angers in August, 2005.
The gelding was bought by Roger Stanley and Yvonne Reynolds for 24,000 euros in November, 2005. In an inauspicious UK debut at Haydock the following month, Andrew Glassonbury was unseated at the ninth when going well enough, but, the horse was back in the money again on his following start in January, 2006, finishing third in a two-mile chase at Warwick.
This was followed by three successive victories under Tony McCoy, in handicap chases at Market Rasen, Exeter and Newbury, which took the horse’s official rating up from 112 to 129. At the Cheltenham Festival, he showed the progression was continuing with a staying-on third to Greenhope in the Grade Three Johnny Henderson Grand Annual Chase. His season finished with another third the following month, this time in a handicap chase at the Scottish National Meeting at Ayr.
The 2006/2007 season started on a quiet note, with Madison Du Berlais finishing down the field in a valuable handicap chase at Ascot in October prior to a creditable sixth behind Exotic Dancer in the Grade Three Boylesports.com Gold Cup at Cheltenham in mid-December.
After a fourth in a handicap chase at Chepstow’s Welsh National meeting, Madison Du Berlais began 2007 with a brace of successes in similar contests at Warwick and Southwell in January.
A busy second half of the season culminated with a neck victory over Nozic in the Grade Three VC Casino.com Gold Handicap Chase at Newbury in March, prior to two creditable efforts in handicap chases at Cheltenham, coming seventh in the Grade Three Racing Post Plate at the Festival and finishing third in the Grade Two Silver Trophy Chase in April.
Madison Du Berlais began the 2007/08 season with a step up to over three miles for the first time, coming home fourth in the Grade Two bet365 Charlie Hall Chase at Wetherby at the start of November before returning to his favourite course of Newbury the following month to finish fourth once more, 20 lengths behind subsequent Cheltenham Gold Cup winner Denman in the Hennessy Cognac Gold Cup.
He ended 2007 with another fine effort when second to stablemate Vodka Bleu in the Listed BGC Silver Cup Handicap Chase at Ascot, and was far from disgraced with a fifth place in the Grade Two Letherby And Christopher Chase at Cheltenham at the end of January, 2008.
Having proved that he could stay at least three miles, Madison Du Berlais made his next appearance in the 2008 John Smith’s Grand National at Aintree, where he travelled well prior to parting company with Tom Scudamore at the Canal Turn on the first circuit.
The current campaign began with a staying-on sixth in a valuable handicap chase at Ascot on 1 November, before Madison Du Berlais gained the biggest triumph of his career on his next start with a three-length victory over Air Force One in the Hennessy Cognac Gold Cup at Newbury on 29 November.
Madison du Berlais (FR) – FAST FACTS
Sire: Indian River (FR)
Dam: Anais Du Berlais (FR) (Dom Pasquini (FR))
Owner: Roger Stanley & Yvonne Reynolds II
Breeder: Jean-Marc Lucas
Race Record (as of 15 Jan 09): Starts: 35; 1st: 8; 2nd: 7; 3rd: 7; Win & Place Prize Money: £267,378