Ben Maher looks to be on phenomenal form this season and got the Longines Global Champions tour off to a flying start with victory in the opening 5* 1.45m conducted under the iconic Eiffel Tower with Don Vito.
A world-class field of 70 contended this two-phase class but Ben hit top gear on the Quaprice Z/Jus De Pomme 10-year-old, executing al the tight options to secure the top spot with 0.19 sec to spare over Germany’s Philip Houston on Loewenherz.
Eight faults in phase two dropped Emily Moffitt and Zagahorn down the line and both Scott Brash (Hello Jefferson) and Alexandra Thornton (Cornetto K) opted for steadier rounds to pick up one time fault in the first phase.
"Don Vito is a good horse so it’s great to borrow him back [from Emily Moffitt]. It’s always fun to ride in such a great city like this. It was quite a quick class, but he’s a naturally fast horse across the ground and gave me the edge today,” said Ben.
Cressy Neads jumped into sixth in the 1* 1.35/1.40m two-phase with the Baltic VDL/Numero Uno eight-year-old Freya 2.58 sec off the pace. Tess Carmichael was right behind in seventh on the nine-year-old Bangle SR and four faults in the second phase dropped Jane Davies and Quite Like It to 18th.
Jane eased Colien V into fourth in the 1* 1.20/1.25m two-phase, the Lupicor 11-year-old finishing four sec behind the pace. Claire Beecroft was also double clear on the Berlin eight-year-old Kandora for 12th and four faults in the second phase dropped Olivia Mawson and Gilka B to 16th.
Tess Carmichael claimed fifth in the 1.10/1.15m two-phase with the Van Gogh nine-year-old E.Harley 3.41 sec off the pace. Imogen Beecroft slotted the 17-year-old Untouchable into seventh and Alicia Store was also double clear for 16th on Uriko Van Sint Antoniushoeve.
Photo © Stafano Grasso/LGCT