Scott Brash lifts the top-billed Spanish Sunshine Tour Grand Prix with Hello Valentino
Monday 12 February 2024
Scott Brash came to the fore in the feature 4* Grand Prix with Hello Valentino to end week one of the Andalucia Tour in Vejer de la Frontera, Spain, on a high.
Forty-nine riders tackled the 1.55m course designed by Javier Trenor but only nine returned after conquering every test around the 13 fences. The jump-off was hot and fiercely competitive, but Scott skilfully and smoothly guided Lady Pauline Harris and Lady Pauline Kirkham’s Hello Valentino into the top spot, easing ahead by only 0.15 seconds.
Scott has patiently taken his time with the Diamantino x Careful 10-year-old.
“He jumped great. I’ve struggled a little with the rideability, but he has a lot of quality in his jumping and I’ve been working on the rideability here at the Sunshine Tour. I wouldn’t say it was perfect yet, but he jumped a super round to win,” said Scott, who went on to explain: “I’m trying to encourage him and give him confidence; I want him to be a 5* Grand Prix horse and the facilities here are excellent to work towards that – the horse can gain a lot of experience on many different tracks and in all kinds of circumstances; grass sand, sun and rain.”
Sameh El Dahan scored victory in the 4* medium 1.50m Grand Prix aboard Joanne Sloan-Allen’s home-bred WKD Aimez Moi. Only 10 of the 64 starters mastered the 13-fence track with Sameh and the 14-year-old Je T’Aime Flamenco daughter clinching the win with 0.58 seconds over Ireland’s Bertram Allen, in second with Castigo De Amor.
Nicole Lockhead Anderson notched up a nifty world ranking victory double. She hit top speed in Thursday’s Pavo 4* big tour 1.50m with Tom Williams and Emily Sage’s small but mighty 11-year-old I Am A Harley (Harley x Otangelo). They topped this hard-fought 63-strong speed class with 1.24 seconds to spare, pushing The Netherlands’ Mel Thijssen and Florida Balia NL into second place.
Nicole went on to head Saturday’s big tour 4* 1.45m two-phase, outpacing all 85 rivals to win by 0.33 seconds on Emily Sage’s eight-year-old mare Vogue TW (Vivant Van De Heffinck x Conthargos).
Graham Gillespie and Veneno power to the top of the 2* 1.45m at Azelhof Jumping
Graham Gillespie and Veneno seized victory in the 2* 1.45m at Azelhof Jumping in Belgium.
Seventy-six competitors contended this Stephex Group world ranking speed with Graham and the Chacco-Blue x Baloubet Du Rouet 16-year-old easing out in front by 0.09 seconds.
Lily Attwood fires into victory with Karibou Horta in Oliva Nova
Lily Attwood started week one on the Spring MET Tour II in Oliva Nova, Spain, with a win on seasoned campaigner Karibou Horta.
Sixty-eight riders came forward in the world ranking Gold 1.45m Grand Prix qualifier over a 12-fence speed track with Lily and her mother Emmy Freeman-Attwood’s Landor S x For Pleasure 14-year-old flying ahead of all challengers to win with 0.86 seconds in hand.
Harry Charles steered Stall Zet’s Bandit into third in the Silver Grand Prix, the Obos Quality 004 x Cruising Micky Finn nine-year-old stallion finishing 0.88 seconds off the winning time set by Belgium’s Vincent Lambrecht on Lady O.
Joe Stockdale and Equine America Cacharel are back on form in Abu Dhabi
Joe Stockdale slipped Equine America Cacharel into second in the UAE Federation Speed Stakes in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates.
Fifty-four riders contended course-designer Santiago Varela’s 5* 12-fence 1.45m track with Joe on Joy Cocklin and Laura Stockdale’s Cachas x Quinar Z 13-year-old mare slotting into the runner-up spot 1.45 seconds behind the winner, France’s Olivier Perreau on Bresil De Carnaval Santa Rosa.
James Smith is in consistent form on the Moura Spring Tour in Valencia
James Smith was in the money in week two on the Moura Spring Tour in Valencia, Spain, with Lissyegan Luise Royale.
After guiding the Luidam x Cruising 13-year-old into third in an early world ranking, 50-horse 3* 1.45m speed class finishing 0.84 seconds off the pace, James went on to again take third on the podium in the top-billed 3* Grand Prix.
Ten of the original 41 competitors accessed the jump-off, James posting another clean round to finish 0.71 seconds behind the winner, Luxembourg’s Victor Bettendorf on Foxy De La Roque. Adrian Whiteway supplied the steadiest of the double clears to slip the 11-year-old Chacco-Blue Carthago stallion Chacco Volo into fourth.
Grand Prix winners the previous week, Laura Renwick aboard Charlotte Rossetter and Pamela Wright’s Enjoy CK Z had to settle for third in Friday’s 3* 1.45m. The field of 52 was reduced to 11 for the jump-off with Laura and the Echo Van’t Spieveld x Coronado 11-year-old finishing 0.68 seconds behind the pace.
Ben Maher and Grace Debney take the top podium spots at Wellington International
Ben Maher secured victory in the $62,500 Hermes 5* 1.50m on Charlotte Rossetter and Pamela Wright’s Point Break on the final day of week five of the three-month tour at Wellington International in The USA.
Eleven of the original 52 starters answered every question to go forward into the jump-off, Ben and the Action-Breaker x Balou Du Rouet 10-year-old edging into the top spot by 0.14 seconds.
Grace Debney scored handsomely in the $62,500 2* 1st Racing Grand Prix aboard Jesprit HS. Ten from a field of 44 returned for the jump-off, Grace guiding the Eldorado VD Zeshoek x Carosso VDL 10-year-old mare galloping to the win 1.18 seconds to spare.
Image: Mackenzie Clark / Andalucia Sunshine Tour