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BERNARD and Robert Fayd'Herbe, two brothers closely linked to Saturday's J&B Met favourite Pocket Power, have a laid- back outward appearance. But the great horse's success brings them a great deal of joy and more than a little emotion.
"It is extra special because it has become a family thing," Robert said.
He said a fourth Met win for Pocket Power, adding to his recent fourth L'Ormarins Queen's Plate win, would "mean a huge deal to us. Whenever our family are in Madagascar or Mauritius they tune in and share in the triumph," he said.
Bernard has ridden Pocket Power to three of his four L'Ormarins Queen's Plate wins, two of his three J&B Met triumphs as well as his Vodacom Durban July and Gold Challenge victories, among others.
Robert is assistant trainer to Mike Bass. Along with groom Boboyi Jevu he is Pocket Power's most trusted companion.
Jevu travels with the big bay on his journeys to Durban, taking care of him while the boss is not there. He also accompanies him in the parade ring.
Bernard feels that Pocket Power is still the horse to beat on Saturday despite being a seven-year-old.
"I don't think his age will stop him," he said. "There's no mistaking that he's not young anymore but he still won the Queen's Plate. He's never won easily before, he always does just enough. No matter what race, he will never win by far."
Asked on Pocket Power's infamous "flat spot" was real or imagined, he said: "It's definitely there. He picks it up at the top of the straight and then just sort of hovers for a while. It's really annoying but I'm used to it. It does not worry me anymore because I know he's going to kick again later on."
Bernard elaborated on Pocket Power's now famous victory surge, in which after a matter of strides he leaves his rivals for dead.
"He is a horse who really wants to win, but I do have to ride him hard until the end because he tends to think he's done enough when he's hit the front," he says.
He confirmed that Pocket Power is a better horse in Cape Town than in Durban.
Bernard did not feel, like some, that this year's Met field was stronger than the previous fields Pocket Power had beaten. But Bernard says Pocket Power is the horse they all have to beat.