Ben Walker made the journey from Hertfordshire to Liverpool worthwhile with a hat-trick of wins at the three-day meeting at Aintree Equestrian Centre.
He started off in style with a double on day one, winning both 1.30m and 1.35m classes. Ben claimed two of the top three places in the 1.35m, topping the hotly-contended jump-off by just 0.14 sec on Emma Ziff’s the Zirocco Blue VDL/Poliktus VD Helle eight-year-old Zirko Ni Um Z. And he slotted Deezie-Katine Weering into third, sandwiching Chris Smith on Sovereign Equestrian’s nine-year-old mare Filandria into second. Phillip Miller slotted Noble Warrior into fourth and Jack Ryan claimed fifth on Diesel VI.
Forty-three contended the initial 1.30m single-phase but no-one could catch Ben and he claimed victory by 0.46 sec on Emma Ziff’s nine-year-old Fygo Von D’Ouwe Grint (Indoctro/Pierrot). Derek Morton steered the Landos II/Quick Star 12-year-old Beech Leys into second with George Whitaker third on Shooting Star. Chris Smith finished fourth on Luxalike ahead of Trevor Breen aboard Medoc De Toxandria and Jack Ryan’s Clintofino II in fifth and sixth.
Ben’s third win came in the final day’s 25-strong 1.30m single-phase, on this occasion the 11-year-old Numero Uno daughter Deezie-Katine Weering stepping up to take the win by 2.52 sec. Jack Ryan jumped into second on his day one 1.20m winner Z Seven Ascot and Johnathan Dixon piloted Fiona into third. Paul Sims finished fourth on Dream Roller ahead of Ben in fifth on Creevy Taylor and sixth-placed Jessica Crosby aboard Harvey.
Keith Shore came to the fore in the concluding 1.40m, seizing victory in the eight-horse decider with 2.15 sec to spare on the Hamlet/Landeur 11-year-old Djoel. Jack and the Untouchable 11-year-old Diesel claimed second with Phillip Miller in third and fifth on Brendon Stud’s Noble Warrior and Di Cornish’s Darona, sandwiching fellow stable jockey Ben on Fygo into fourth. Keith’s son James Shore rode Elco VM into sixth.
Jack claimed a win in day two’s 20-strong 1.40m, guiding the 10-year-old Clintofino II (Clinton I/Corofino I) into the top spot with 0.48 sec in hand in the seven-horse jump-off. George eased the Voss/Indoctro seven-year-old Shooting Star into second and finished fourth with the steadiest of the double clears on Moonstern JX with Ben and Fygo sandwiched into third.
Ben had to settle for second and third in day one’s Foxhunter with Ielisa and Creevy Taylor as Jake Elliott forged into the top spot by 1.62 sec on the eight-year-old mare Blowell Beeline.
An on-form Charlotte Bowman scored multiple wins over the three days. Charlotte commanded victory in no less than four classes on the All The Diamonds/Donovan 11-year-old Igo Diamond, taking both day one and day two’s 90cm and 1m classes. She also claimed second in day two’s 1m on the Cassini Gold/Douglas eight-year-old Gohbantos – winner of the final day’s 1m.
Richard Howley topped day two’s 1.10m with five sec in hand and the Foxhunter with a commanding 10 sec to spare on the seven-year-old Hamilton IV (Tangelo Van De Zuuthoeve/Rubert R). And Greg Taylor headed two newcomers classes, winning on day two with the five-year-old Connor/Carvallo mare Carvalla II and taking a one-two on the final day with the five-year-old Just White and Carvalla.
Samantha Jimmison doubled up with two British novice wins on the six-year-old Dysart Dunn while Christina Kenyon topped both 1.20m and the 90cm on the final day with Calypsos Rampant Million and My Other Million respectively.
Text and Photos © Jumping Around