The seventh week of the Ridge at Wellington Turf Tour kicked off in its usual fashion-with blazing speeds and top tier competition. Conor Swail and Sharn Wordley faced off on the open turf field at the International Polo Club Palm Beach, each fighting a battle against the clock in an attempt to rise to the top of the ranks.
Conor Swail (IRL) was the first rider of the day to post a clear round, riding Dillinger, owned by Susan Grange, to the top of the ranks. The trailblazing team has been the talk of the 2015 Turf Tour, winning numerous classes throughout the series. The grey gelding has both scope and speed, and today he proved it once again throughout Nick Granat's 1.40m Grand Prix track. The duo sped to the time of 31.00 seconds flat to pave the way for an exciting day at IPC.
Today, it would come down to a battle of the best with Swail and Sharn Wordley facing off. Wordley came to IPC with his mind set on beating Swail, "A few weeks ago, he [Popstar Lozonais] was the fastest but we had the last fence down. Conor Swail is always the one to try to beat. I don't care if I win, as long as today I beat him."
Wordley did just that, riding Popstar Lozonais to the outstanding time of 30.533 seconds. 'Poppy' was able to clear the course, turning quickly and covering the ground with ease as Wordley sliced the turns and even added strides from the first and second obstacles.
Wordley said, "He is really fast. He is just naturally extremely fast because he can turn. It wasn't even as fast as he could go. I had to add a stride to the combination and I actually added a stride down the second line, and if I had left those out I would have gone faster. He is so quick at turning, so quick in the air, and so quick at moving, that if he is clean, he is generally at the top. He just lands and turns so quickly."
"I thought the course was good," Wordley continued. "There was a little more jump out there. It wasn't tough-It just rode nicely. It was tough enough. It is always hard in this expansive arena, you really need a horse that concentrates a lot, it is a great education."
Swail continued to hold the second place position throughout the rest of the day, also riding Simba de la Roque to a speedy time of 31.226 seconds to fall just shy of his earlier time and earn the third position behind his second place mount, Dillinger.
Peter Lutz and Carneyhaugh Manx finished in fourth for their time of 32.164 seconds, while Alexander Zetterman snuck into the fifth place with his quick jump off of 32.320 aboard Zidane. Beth Underhill and Viggo followed hot on his heels with a time of 32.792 seconds to round out the top six finishers of the day.
Wordley complimented The Ridge at Wellington for their Wellington Turf Tour series, "I think this is fantastic. I haven't been to come to it the last couple of years because I didn't have the horses, and I was aiming for the grand prix at WEF. Now, I have a few more horses that I can spare, and I love it. I will be coming back next year and the year after. It is a great show."
For more information about the Ridge at Wellington please go to www.theridgefarm.com. For up-to-date information please follow the Ridge at Wellington on Facebook.
$15,000 1.40M Grand Prix - Table II Sec 2b
Place Entry Horse Owner Rider
1st 655 Popstar Lozonais Ashland Stables Sharn Wordley
2nd 510 Dillinger Susan grange Connor Swail IRL
3rd 462 Simba De La Roque Connor Swail IRL Connor Swail IRL
4th 936 Carneyhaugh Manx Katherine Gallagher Peter Lutz
5th 478 Zidane Alexander ZettermanFEI102WH23 Alexander Zetterman
6th 543 Viggo Beth Underhill Beth Underhill
7th 471 Con Narcos Andrew Bourns Andrew Bourns
8th 465 Primo Calypso Michael Hayden Michael Hayden
Source: Press release from the Ridge at Wellington.
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