Jonathan Smyth and the Irish Sport Horse Charlton Clio were best of the Irish, finishing in 5th position, in The Science Supplements Speed Derby in the Longines Main Arena at Hickstead on Saturday, as another Irish Sport Horse, Silver Life, took Britain’s Harriett Nuttall to victory.
Smyth, one of eight Irish riders on the startlist of twenty-five, had four faults in his round, meaning 4 seconds were added to his time to bring him up to 101.53 seconds.
The Irish Sport Horse Silver Lift and Nuttall, winners of the Speed Derby in 2016, took the lead when fourth-last to go, jumping a clear round in 95.33 seconds. The biggest threat to Nuttall came from the final combination of dual Speed Derby winner Matt Sampson and his chestnut gelding Topflight True Carlo. Sampson seemed to have a chance of denying three-times runner-up Nuttall the win as the crowd urged him on approaching the last, knowing his time was better than the eventual winner’s.
Sampson asked Topflight True Carlo for a big leap at the last, but unfortunately for him, they knocked a poll and the added four seconds gave Sampson a time of 95.83 seconds, just 0.5 second behind the winner.
Carlos Eduardo Mota Ribas and Brilexo, who had set the pace prior to Nuttall’s round, finished third in a total time of 96.69 seconds.
Ireland’s David Corcoran and Johnny Cash Man In Black were seventh, Michael Whythe, riding Pharaoh R finished 10th, with Liam McGarry and Hyves-Onde W. a place further back. Vicky Anderson and Zack were 21st, while Gerard Clarke and Hollystown Miss Lupin were eliminated following two refusals at the Hickstead planks.
Elsewhere at The Al Shira’aa Hickstead Derby Meeting today, Ger O’Neill and Castlefield Vegas, one of the four Irish combinations to make the jump-off in the CMH.TV Hickstead Master’s Trophy, finished as runners-up behind the speedy Briton Guy Williams and Rouge De Revel.
The winners posted a clear round in 40.91 seconds against O’Neill’s clear round in 45.55 seconds, while Swede Angelie Von Essen, riding Luikan Q, had to settle for third with another clear round in 45.88 seconds.
David Simpson and Foudre F were next best of the Irish with a fifth-place finish, going clear in 47.37 seconds.
Of the other Irish riders in the jump-off round, Jonathan Smyth and Mulvin Lui were 14th with eight faults in 49.66 seconds, while Shane Breen, the final rider to go in the jump-off with Clyde Va, also had two poles down for a total of eight faults in 52.06 seconds.