The 2018 Zinc Management Speed Horse of the Year class at the Horse of the Year Show (HOYS) saw 20 combinations come forward to prove who really is the fastest in the business.
Leading the field was France’s Geoffroy De Coligny riding Marine Volkaert’s 12-year-old gelding Raimondo Du Plessis.
The course gave riders plenty of options and turns over the 11 up-to-height fences, which was finished with a wide white picket parallel down the long side towards to entry gate.
Third to jump, Geoffroy was also the first to net a clear and managed to set the winning time of 44.27 early in the game.
He was the first rider to bravely attempt the tight turn from 6A — which required a sharp cut inside fence 3, — to 7, leaving only a stride before the jump.
Coming in second with a close time of 44.47 was Belgium’s Francois Jr Mathy with the 13-year-old gelding Falco Van De Clehoeve, while third with a time of 44.95 went to the best of the British riders, Matthew Sampson riding the 10-year-old mare Doriena, who won the British Speed Derby at the Hickstead in 2017 with Topflight True Carlo.
In fifth was Angelie Von Essen and Estella with a time of 48.26 and sixth went to Hendrik-Jan Schuttert and Farmers Proud.
Egypt’s Sameh El Dahan was hot off the mark and was quick on the turns, but appeared to put the handbrake on his ride Championes between fences 10 and 11, meaning he had to settle for fourth with a time of 45.64.
Guy Williams was the penultimate rider to jump with his nine-year-old mare Thais D’La Verrerie and was inside the clock before he knocked fences 10 and 11. He finished with the fastest time of 44.04 but eight faults left him out of the placings.