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World number one Scott Brash came within 0.89 of a second of winning the Longines five-star grand prix at the Los Angeles Masters yesterday (Sunday 4 October), but was denied victory by the final rider — Germany’s Marco Kutscher.

Only seven reached the jump-off, and fourth drawn Scott set a typically fast pace with nine-year-old Hello M’Lady.

“I knew there were fast ones behind me, but the first line [of the jump-off] didn’t go well enough,” said Scott.

They held off USA’s Kent Farrington’s challenge on Voyeur, but last to go Marco gained advantage on the first turn, and remained slightly ahead all the way on Van Gogh.

“My advantage was last to go, I saw Scott and Kent and I knew there was a little door open,” said Marco (pictured below). “I took a chance and I’m super-pleased with my horse.”

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As winner of the Longines Hong Kong grand prix, John Whitaker was in line for a bonus of 500,000 if he and Argento could win in LA. However, Argento clipped a back rail on a big oxer, and the dream ended. It dropped them to 11th.

But the popular pair claimed the winner’s spot earlier in the week, topping the Airbus 1.50m prix against 20 others in a super-quick jump-off.

“I was late to go in the jump-off and that helped me, and Argento’s quick, he can gallop to the jumps,” said John.

Australia’s Edwina Tops Alexander took second on Lintea Tequila.

Scott appeared in line for a win in the Longines Speed challenge with Hello Annie, but was beaten by a fraction by Ireland’s Bertram Allen (Quiet Easy 4).

“You needed a good horse to win and he [Quiet Easy] was great, I went full hammer,” said Bertram.