Graham Babes was just half a second from victory in a strong 1.40m on day one at Sentower Park in Opglabbeek, Belgium.
A total of 99 competitors contended the section A 1.40m speed with Graham and the consistent Valentino 12-year-old Boucheron finishing 0.49 sec behind the winner, Belgium’s Dries Dekkers on D&J Havanna. George Whitaker eased the Billy Mexico nine-year-old Strides Hatton’s Treasure into fourth and Harry Wainwright finished 10th with Pinheiro Beech.
And 99 also tackled the section B 1.40m speed – such were the mammoth entries the class was split into two – with Isaac Hall taking sixth aboard the 11-year-old Conrad (Vittorio/Concorde) four sec behind the winner. Ellen Whitaker guided Jack Van’t Kattenheye into 14th and Joe Clayton was 21st on Crak De Beaurepaire Z.
Graham also picked up third in the five and six-year-old 1.15/1.25m with the six-year-old Ma Fleur JS (Emerald Van’t Ruytershof/Cassini II) 1.14 sec off the pace. Zak Beesley was right behind for fourth on the six-year-olds Harmonia (Tangelo Van De Zuuthoeve/Lux) and 10th on Speediway (Caretino Glory/Grandeur) with Leonie Aitkenhead in 12th on Heart Third). Al Jabar Yaqub finished 16th on Hastings and Tamarin Christie was also double clear with Kieke for 17th.
Zak posted a double clear to take fifth in the 115-strong 1.30m two-phase with Sharon Whiteway’s Clinto II 10-year-old Diralda P exactly two sec behind the pace. Al Jabar finished 10th on Oligar Angelus, Tabitha Dean took 15th on Blown Away and a steady double clear earned Jamie Wingrove 17th spot on Pampelonne.
James Smith slotted Garfunkel (Caridas Z/Calvados) into third in the 53-horse seven-year-old 1.35m two-phase 0.95 sec off the pace. George Whitaker returned easy rounds for 17th on Giranette and Robert Murphy was also penalty-free on Highcross Violet to take 19th.
Photo © Jumping Around