Robert Whitaker landed the Horse First 1.45m grand prix on Major Delacour to conclude a good three days at Bury Farm Estates.
Eighteen tackled a 12-fence track designed by Keith Bristow with 10 coming forward to contend the jump-off with Robert securing the £1,000 first prize with a quick, decisive round on the Ksar-Sitte 11-year-old to win by 0.84 sec.
Four provided double clears with John Crippen slipping into second place on the Cardento 13-year-old Bling Bling IV ahead of Faye Adams aboard Gladiator VI and Ben Walker in fourth on Fygo D’Ouwe Grint. Four faults put Nick Benterman in fifth and sixth on Mista Blue and Chaccarino.
Ben claimed the lion’s share of the prizes at the rest of the show with multiple wins. A fantastic day one saw Ben notch up four wins. He partnered the Indoctro/Pierrot nine-year-old Fygo to take the 18-horse 1.40m single-phase with 0.35 sec to spare over Harry Batemen’s Zuniek VD Tojopehoeve Z. Faye Adams steered Gladiator into third and Paul Crago netted fourth on June Hof Ter Zeedycke.
The Marius Claudius/Corrado I eight-year-old Titan II captured the initial 1.30m single-phase for Ben, holding off his 17 rivals to win, again with 0.35 sec to spare. Paul and June settled for second with Ryan Prater on Billy Eurodisney in third and Will Fletcher fourth on Quidden Du Buisson Z.
Ben also headed the first of the 1.10m classes on the Odermus R/Clinton 17-year-old Victory VI with 3.57 sec in hand over Chris Whinnett’s Newtown Clinton in second and Claire Bowman aboard Rosgan Viva La Diva in third.
Ben had started the show in style with a British novice win on the five-year-old mare Luidams Sapphire (Luidam/Ocombo De L’eau) with just 0.09 sec in hand over Phoebe Heath in second on Callie IV.
On day two Ben posted a double with both 1.30m and 1.40m wins. Warriors Crème came to the fore in the 1.40m speed for Ben, but the Warrior/Crème Van’t Steentje nine-year-old owned by Emma Ziff had to share the spoils with Harry Bateman on Jazz De Coquerie/Taloubet Z seven-year-old Jaloubet K Z after equalling the time. Bumble Thomas took third on Cilandro and Jordan Gann finished fourth with Lakeland Dancer in the 15-strong class.
Ben clinched first and third in day two’s 12-horse 1.30m two-phase, flying into first place on the Baltic VDL/Indoctro seven-year-old Heidiemorka and taking third on Warriors Crème, sandwiching Bryony Crippen’s Cacharel Z – a former ride of Ben’s – into second by just 0.05 sec. Fellow stable jockey Phillip Miller rode Hot Pepper S into fourth.
Ben’s final win came in day three’s 21-strong 1.25/1.35m and he underscored it with the top two places, winning on the 11-year-old Numero Uno daughter Deezie-Katine Wearing and taking second aboard Warriors Crème, 1.25 sec separating the two. Will Fletcher steered Tiger Bright into third ahead of Faye Adams in fourth on Croklund and Nick Benterman in fifth with Cartos Z.
Harry Bateman scored a hat-trick in the Foxhunter classes with Debbie Wanstall’s consistent Alabalou. They headed the first over a single-phase 1.20m track with just 0.01 sec to spare over Jake Ward’s Comano Z. It was a similar result on the final day, Jake and Comano having to settle for second behind Harry and Alabalou but on this occasion by a bigger margin – 1.76 sec. Edward Brook and Jersey S – winner of the earlier newcomers – finished third.
In day two’s 28-strong two-phase, Harry and the nine-year-old mare flew into the top spot by almost four sec over Nick Benterman’s Justine HX with Sadie Lupson in third on Elite Trooper.
Jasmine Gutsell doubled up in day one and day two’s newcomers with the nine-year-old Irish-bred mare Killuppaun Contador, winning the first by 1.03 sec over Harry’s Hotblue II and taking the second by 1.51 sec over Hollie Pearce on Jewelino. Hollie was also first and second in day two’s discovery aboard Coolbay Girl and Jewelino.
Emma-Jo Slater guided the Renkum Valentino seven-year-old Cosmic Jaxx into the top spot of the first day’s 90cm and 1m classes by 2.62 sec and 3.17 sec respectively. Emma-Jo had to settle for second with Freule TN in the final day’s 25-entry 1.15m speed as Ronnie Jones forged ahead with the 10-year-old mare Premier Diamond (Hold Up Premier/White Clover) to win by two sec.
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