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Kermond on top of the world

Monday, 04 February 2013

Jamie Kermond with Colthaga. Photo by Annie Studholme. Australian Jamie Kermond is on top of the world after winning the $50,000 Forsyth Barr Horse Grand Prix at Mosgiel today in a nail-biter. Twenty-seven of the best combinations in Australasia started the class vying for a share of the $50,000 up for grabs, with all those on four faults or less returning for the second round against the clock.

Returning in reverse order of penalties, the pressure was on from the outset, with riders forced to take chances over the Gerrit Beker-designed track. McVean was first out with Dunstan Springfield, setting a cracking pace stopping the clock in 40.95, but finished on a total of eight faults thanks to two dropped rails.

Cambridge's Samantha McIntosh and Claire were the first combination to post a double clear in a time of 48.39, which was quickly bettered by West Australian Rory Hovell on his lovely stallion Yalambi's Val D'isere. Fellow West Australian Alison Rowland was next to go, also clear in a smart 43.93 to take an early lead, applying the pressure on the last 10 combinations to go.

Many tried, pushing hard against the clock, but failed, picking up faults. After going close with Dunstan Daffodil, McVean's gamble paid off stealing the lead with Dunstan Kiwi Iron Mark in 41.02, challenging the last riders to take it on.

Australian Jamie Winning beat the time, but picked up eight faults. Next out, McIntosh on her second ride, Estina, were flawless, coming home clear in a speedy 39.5 to go into the lead. When Mathew Gilmour (Auckland) and Belize Di Cantero had a rail down, that left just Kermond and Colthaga chasing a repeat victory having won the McMillan Equine Feeds Super Grand Prix at Ride The Rhythm under the roof at the Forsyth Barr Stadium on Friday night in spectacular fashion.

Mid-way through the course, McIntosh looked to have it won, but Kermond timed it to perfection, coming home clear just 0.4 of a second faster to take the honours. It wasn't till the results were called out that Kermond knew he'd done enough.

"I thought I had. I knew I had gone as fast as I could, just hoped it was enough," smiled Kermond.

"It's just the luck of the draw. If I hadn't been last to go, there's no way I would have gone that fast. It's wonderful. She has been amazing this weekend. It is such a great feeling to have her back at her best."

For Kermond, and the mare's hugely supportive owners Jackie and Bob Cox, winning back-to-back Grand Prix's was a big thrill, let alone picking up more than $25,000 in prize money.


Forsyth Barr Horse Grand Prix: Jamie Kermond (Australia) Colthaga 1, Samantha McIntosh (Cambridge) Estina 2, Katie McVean (Mystery Creek) Dunstan Kiwi Iron Mark 3, Alison Rowland (Australia) Bickley Brook Bella 4, Rory Hovell (Australia) Yalambi's Val D'isere 5, Samantha McIntosh (Cambridge) Claire 6.

Euro Sport Horses Elite Rider: Jamie Winning (Australia) Alpha Centauri 1, Georgina Power (Little River) Brooklynite 2, Claudia Hay (Mosgiel) Euro Sport Centavos 3, Claudia Hay (Mosgiel) Euro Sport Heartbreaker 4, Maurice Beatson (Dannevirke) Conyers 5, Georgina Power (Little River) Waldorf 6.

Dunstan Seven-Year-Old Series: Rose Alfeld (Weedons) My Super Nova 1, Maurice Beatson (Dannevirke) Lenarc 2, Katie McVean (Mystery Creek) Dunstan Banderas C 3, Katie McVean (Mystery Creek) Dunstan Breeze 4, Samantha McIntosh (Cambridge) Supernova NZPH 5, Kate Taylor (Kurow) Next 6.

Mitavite Six-Year-Old Series: Katie McVean (Mystery Creek) Dunstan Lucca 1.

Fernhill Stud Five-Year-Old Series: Zoe Shore (Ashburton) Burberry 1.

Source: Press release from Annie Studholme.

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