Keith Shore dominated the feature AW Jenkinson grand prix at Aintree’s elite show, claiming the top two places for a handsome pay packet.
Thirty contended this 1.40m class over a 12-fence track designed by Raf Suarez with 10 coming forward into the jump-off. And Keith proved unbeatable, forging ahead on the Hamlet/Landeur 11-year-old Djoel to win by 0.57 sec over second ride Iron Lady Van’t Meulenhof.
It was all about the clock as six competitors provided double clears, Geoff Billington fractionally behind for third on Con Man JX. Julie Andrews slotted Wilando B into fourth and Nicola Barry claimed fifth and sixth with Sovereign Equestrian’s True Blue III and Darien II.
Millie Allen scored a handsome double in the first two days 1.40m classes, winning the initial competition on Quinu De Pravia and the second aboard Chantal V.
Thirty-nine tackled day one’s two-phase with Millie racing ahead on the Action Breaker 10-year-old Quinu to take the win with a 1.49 sec advantage to deny Keith another win, this time riding the Parco/Quidam De Revel 10-year-old Iron Lady. Nigel Coupe slotted Mystic Independence into third with Georgia Lovett fourth on What A Kaschin K and Donny Janciauskas took fifth on Cool Scendy.
Millie was again the quickest in the 1.40m speed, winning on the Iowa/Indoctro nine-year-old Chantal with more than five sec to spare over Georgia and the Dutch-bred 11-year-old What A Kaschin K. Charlotte Horne eased Dynamic III into third ahead of fourth-placed Eve Staveley on Shadow IV and Donny Janciauskas in fifth with Cool Quarz.
Nano Healy topped the 53-strong Blue Chip Dynamic B and C two-phase with the grade B Predator Ridge, the 12-year-old Temple Croesus mare winning by 1.10 sec. Zak Beesley guided John Renwick’s Tangelo Van De Zuuthoeve seven-year-old Harmonia into second with Robert Murphy aboard Kensington in third and Laura Johnson filling fourth spot on Euphoria HST.
Robert clinched two of the top three places in the 43-strong DDS 1.25m, securing the top spot on the Upgrade/Numero Uno 11-year-old Kensington. And he took third on the Careful/Jus De Pomme 11-year-old Acapella II, sandwiching Georgina Marshall into second on her 1.15 winner, the Zandor Z 18-year-old Zodiac Z. Rebecca Marsh jumped into fourth on Nelson Z and Joanne Dixon finished fifth with Jonti.
Robert was denied a second win with Kensington in day one’s 1.30m, Rachael Connor sandwiching him into second place. Rachael took the win in this 70-entry two-phase by just 0.23 sec with the nine-year-old Casantos/Oklund mare Fantastic and earned third spot aboard another nine-year-old, Zaha (Tangelo Van De Zuuthoeve/Indorado). Dan Delsart finished fourth with Gigolo Z and Keith picked up fifth on Denzel VT Meulenhof.
Georgia scored a double of wins with her regular campaigner Westend Gunner. The pair headed the initial 1.20m on the 14-year-old gelding with just 0.15 sec in hand over Martha Newall and Casquetta SN.
And the consistent partnership went to take day two’s 1.30m, denying Rachael a second win. Fifty-two contended this two-phase competition with Georgia taking the win by 0.13 sec over Rachael and Zaha. Carmen Edwards rode Happy Valerie into third just ahead of Holly Hammond in fourth with Landown Illusion.
Christina Richardson-Kenyon caimed victory in the 59-horse Blue Chip Karma performance two-phase with the six-year-old FVS Stakkato Costa Million with 0.65 sec to spare. Jessica Botham eased Sovereign Equestrian’s Highhope DD into second with Daniel Okendon third aboard Mirannan. Simon Buckley finished fourth on Gubeon Junior Kannan and Chantelle Duggan filled fifth place on Handels Smart Time.
George Whitaker scored a double with Lingala, heading both day one and day three’s newcomers on the Billy Congo/Karandasj eight-year-old. Day one’s victory was by 0.38 sec but day three was won by just 0.01 sec.
NB: Qualifications will be updated pending official grading of results.
Photos © Jumping Around & Andrew Davies/Lynne Shore