Billy Twomey heads Hickstead's opening class on Thomas

Smooth, flowing and effortlessly quick, Ireland’s Billy Twomey laid claim to the Bunn Leisure Vase speed with Michael Bates’ home-bred Thomas in the later stages of the 70-strong opening International class at Hickstead.

“He was pretty neat everywhere, he’s competitive and always looking for the next fence,” said Billy, who has only ridden this Quidam De Revel nine-year-old for six weeks, taking over from stable jockey Beth Vernon.

Thomas jumped well here at the Hickstead Derby meeting.

“He likes the ring here, it suits him. He likes to take hold towards a fenceand a big ring gives him more time and me more time to organise him – he’s very keen and and I like to keep him settled,” said Billy.

Leader from mid-draw, Nicole Pavitt took second with Victor Blue despite riding injured in a fall yesterday from the five-year-old stallion Newtonhill Monaco when competing in the back rings the previous day.“He took off a stride early in a combination. He’s fine but I’ve damaged my ankle, but my boots are giving me support,” said Nicole, who spent five hours in A and E sitting next to Michael Whitaker [see news item].Nicole also took fourth aboard Old Lodge’s Cornet Obolensky 10-year-old Areeb OL in the Bunn Leisure speed, where Brits bunched behind winner Billy.Guy Williams, who took a brief lead on Depardieu Van T Kiezelhof from Nicole and first ride Areeb, finished an eventual third with Tim Stockdale on Erasmus Van De Heffinck in fifth and Joe Wahitaker on Lavarno sixth.

Italy’s Juan Carlos Garcia headed Thursday’s Bunn Leisure Trophy with a scintillating gallop on Gitano V Berkenbroeck, snatching victory by an impressive 1.88 sec. The pair risked tight turns at top speed with a daring angled turn to the final vertical to take the class.

Ben Maher was best Brit with third on the Andiamo 12-year-old Aristio Z just 0.14 sec behind The Netherlands Doron Kuipers and Zinius in second.

Chloe Winchester claimed fifth with Avoca Valkyrie and Phillip Miller brought the Unbelievable Darco nine-year-old Unbelievable Lady – who was born at the Brendon Stud just five miles down the road – into sixth.


Bunn Leisure Vase

1 Billy Twomey & Thomas – IRE – 0 58.54

2 Nicole Pavitt & Victor Blue – GBR – 0 60.56

3 Guy Williams & Depardieu Van T Kiezelhof – GBR – 0 63.43

4 Nicole Pavitt & Areeb OL – GBR - 0 63.99

5 Tim Stockdale & Erasmus Van De Heffinck – GBR – 0 64.13

6 Joe Whitaker & Lavarno – GBR – 0 64.20

Bunn Leisure Trophy

1 Juan Carlos Garcia & Gitano V Berkenbroeck – ITA – 0/0 33.31

2 Doron Kuipers & Zinius – NED – 0/0 35.19

3 Ben Maher & Aristio Z – GBR – 0/0 35.33

4 Francois Mathy Jnr & Polinska Des Isles – BEL – 0/0 35.38

5 Chloe Winchester & Avoca Valkyrie – GBR – 0/0 37.36

6 Phillip Miller & Unbelievable Lady – GBR – 0/0 37.71

Photos © Jumping Around