A winner just 24 hours earlier in the King’s Cup, the USA’s Kent Farrington again came out on top to take the top-billed Grand Prix for the Kingdom of Bahrain trophy on the feisty Creedance (pictured).
From a field of 34, 14 reached the jump-off over Kelvin Bywater’s track, with Canada’s Tiffany Foster taking an early lead on Ben Maher’s London 2012 ride Tripple X. The jump-off moved up another gear when Kent entered the ring, and he had the crowd on the edge of their seats as the super-fast Creedance took every turn at tighter and riskier angles.
“He’s an exceptionally fast horse, so quick across the ground,” said Kent on the Lord Z/Notaris nine-year-old.
A determined John Whitaker aimed to make the most of his penultimate draw, but an exceptionally spooky Argento (pictured) lost a little time to a midway oxer, and it cost John dear. They finished just over a sec slower than Kent.
“I should have gone two strides less to that oxer but he’s so spooky today, which is unusual for him,” said John.
Kent was obviously delighted with his win.
“I like the feeling of déjà vu [after also winning yesterday]. This was a top competition and John Whitaker is my hero,” he said.
Italy’s Piergiorgio Bucci eased Casallo Z into third ahead of Tiffany and Tripple X. Tim Stockdale took seventh on Fleur De L’Aube on four faults and an in contention Billy Twomey’s bid ended at the final two fences with eight faults for eighth on Diaghilev. Laura Renwick was ninth on Bintang.
Britain was also denied a win in the Palm Accumulator, Robert Smith and Cimano E missing out by just one hundredth of a sec to France’s Adeline Hecart and Question D’Orval (pictured).
It was a winning return for the French pair, who had topped last year’s Winnng Round competition on the 12-year-old mare.
“She likes it here. I took all the risks but steadied for the last to give her reassurance,” said Adeline.
Italy’s Lorenzo de Luca took third on Halifax Van Het Kluizebos with the USA’s Laura Kraut fourth on Gipsy King. Yazmin Pinchen was in sixth on Con Chilli, just behind Belguim’s Francois Mathy Jnr’s Falco Van De Clehoeve. Billy Twomey was in seventh on Ardcolum Duke with Tim Stockdale 10th on Erasmus Van De Heffinck and William Funnell 11th with Billy Angelo.
Photos courtesy Royal Windsor Horse Show/Revolution Sports