Super-cool Scott takes the big grand prix in Al Shaqab

He left the best until last. Super-cool Scott Brash had endured a lean week in Al Shaqab, Qatar, but he came to the fore when it mattered, heading the top-billed 5* 1.60m grand prix with Ursula XII.

Eighteen of the 41 went forward to round two, six clears joined by five on time faults only and the fastest of the four-faulters. But four remained clear again for a high-octane jump-off, Scott taking command to win by 0.77 sec.

Many would have written Ursula off after injury in 2014, but Scott spent 18 months nursing the 16-year-old Ahorn/Papageno mare back to competition fitness, and the win here proved their Spruce Meadows victory last September was no fluke.

"I couldn't be happier with Ursula's performance tonight, she delivered three spectacular rounds to win 500,000 euro," said Scott.

Also clear, Turkey’s Omar Karaevli on Roso au Crosnier took second with Spain’s Pilar Lucrecia Cordon taking third after posting the quickest time of the class on Galine la Cour Zichelhof, but crucially with a fence down. John Whitaker and Ornellaia had four faults in round one.

Scott also guided the 13-year-old Contendro/For Pleasure mare Hello Annie into sixth in the 1.45m table C speed, finishing three sec behind the winner, Italy’s Emanuele Gaudiano on Chalou. John Whitaker jumped a steady clear on the Berlin nine-year-old Leen OL for 19th place.

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