France’s Olivier Guillon and Baladine Du Mesnil claim the first international class at Hickstead’s Peugot Derby meeting

Olivier Guillon took first blood for France whenhe rode the experienced mare, Baladine Du Mesnil, into first spot in the opening international class of this year’s Peugeot Derby meeting at meeting.

In a five-horse jump-off for the Refco Tankard, the 29-year-old and his 13-year-old chesnut beat Eriksson team-mate Maria Gretzer on her top ride, Feliciano, by more than 3sec, with Scott Smith the best of the British in third after Cabri D’Elle lowered the final fence.

Michael and John Whitaker lifted the home crowd with a stirring one/two in the later Hasseroder Salver. John led for a long way on his earlier speed stakes winner, Virtual Village Hunter’s Level, before his brother galloped round to win by almost 5sec from final draw on First Samuel.

This was completing a good day for the Whitakers, as 15-year-old Ellen had earlier become the youngest ever winner of the Safety Systems British Young Riders title after a lovely round on Great Love.

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