Scott Brash wins the Valkenswaard grand prix in fine style
Scott Brash landed the concluding world ranking 2* grand prix with Hello Mr President in Valkenswaard, The Netherlands.
Only 13 of the 80 starters posted first round clears to access the jump-off but Scott, in typical super-smooth style, found all the shortcuts to win with 1.67 sec in hand on the Comme D’Apri nine-year-old President.
"He's a very fast horse and he loves it. For him it is never fast enough,” said Brash afterwards. “I thought it was a very good course. It is difficult to build a fair and selective course for a class with so many competitors.”
Belgium’s Olivier Philippaerts on Extra claimed second spot. Tim Wilks and Elmo returned one time fault in round one to drop out of contention.
Will Edwards clinched victory in the 1* small grand prix on SHW Candies B. Thirty-seven initially contended this 1.35/1.40m class with 14 gaining access to the jump-off. But Will, 18, outpaced all with smooth, tight lines on the home-bred eight-year-old Chacco Blue/Heartbreaker mare to win by 0.13 sec.
“She has a lot of scope and we think she has the potential for the real big fences. The future will tell. We might also keep her for our breeding at a later stage,” said Will.
Jess Mendoza guided the El-Thuder 10-year-old NP Zelah into third, sandwiching Ireland’s Harry Allen into second on Cheese W Z. Trevor Breen claimed eighth on the eight-year-old Franklin and Jess Dimmock was also clear on Billy In Fashion for ninth.
Jemma Kirk and Quelisto raced to second spot in the 2* small tour 1.35m speed, the French-bred 14-year-old finishing 1.45 sec behind the winner, Harry Allen on Eh Quick Nina. Emily Moffitt slotted the Matterhorn 14-year-old Zagahorn into fourth spot and Charlotte Ash took 11th on Ideal S in the 61-strong class.
Trevor netted second spot in the medium tour 1.40m speed with the Billy Congo 12-year-old Billy Drizzle 2.44 sec behind the pace. Mark Armstrong finished eighth on Keoki with Laura Kraut 15th aboard the Hales family’s SFS Vincomte, Emily Moffitt took 16th on Copain Du Perchet CH and Anna Wilks was 21st on Undicci.
Stuart Neads finished second in the 1* 1.25m 2.38 sec behind the winner with the Baltic VDL eight-year-old Freya. Brits took four of the top five places here with Henry Truelove in third on the 12-year-old Golly Girl, Carmen Edwards eased Geodina into fourth and his brother claimed fifth and eighth on Tinkas Brook II and SHW Suevana with Trevor Breen in seventh on Feliano B in the nine-strong jump-off.
Ben Raistrick jumped to the top in the six-year-old final with Hessel. Twenty-six of 57 starters posted initial clears for a hot jump-off, but Ben clinched victory by 0.25 sec on Daniel Wright’s VDL Sheraton/Cantos gelding.
“Hessel is a very scopey horse and he is very careful. He knows exactly when things are getting serious and he will fight for you. He certainly has potential for the big classes. He can be a bit cheeky, he has a sense of humor,” said Ben, 23.
Lucy Wood guided Homme (Inshallah De Muze/Warrant) into fifth with Ben also double clear on Heaven Can Wait E (Up To Date/Cavalier) to take seventh. Four faults dropped Carmen Edwards (Happy Valerie) and Emily Mason (Cash Du Plessis) down to 16th and 18th.
Jemma steered Diamonds Are Unique into fourth in the five-year-old final, the Diamant De Semilly gelding finishing 3.16 sec behind the pace in the 30-strong speed class. Carmen Edwards took ninth on I-Bless with Ben Rasitrick 10th and 13th on Its Comming and Invisible, Henry Truelove finished 14th on Iris L and Jess Dimmock posted the steadiest of the clears with Iranta for 15th.
A steady double clear in the 25-strong jump-off of the seven-year-old final put Jess Dimmock and the Tangelo Van De Zuuthoeve/Billy Mexico mare Billy Fleance into 13th, 5.55 sec behind the pace. Jemma Kirk was also penalty-free for 16th on Baikal De Talma.
Natasha Dunsdon claimed fifth in the 1* small tour 1.15m on NN Celine, the Casino/Lord Z eight-year-old more than five sec off the pace in the 12-strong decider. Four faults dropped Sebastian Bishop and the Spartacus six-year-old Springsteen Z from victory to seventh with Caroline Breen eighth on Kilmastulla Douglas. Natasha also picked up 11th on Captain Morgan EW and Tim Wilks opted not to jump-off on Hocus Pocus for 12th.
Photos © Sportfot/Tops International