‘I nearly got someone else to ride him’: top rider won’t let bad back stand in the way of Bolesworth puissance win

  • There has never been another puissance combination quite like Guy Williams and the brilliant Mr Blue Sky UK. Over the past five years they’ve claimed all of the country’s major puissance titles and they were back for more at Bolesworth — taking the £3,570 first prize as the sole partnership to clear the wall in the fifth and final round.

    Both Guy and Ireland’s Brendan Murphy (Erne Riverrun) had jumped the wall at 6’11” (2m10) and decided to come forward for a final heat despite Guy struggling to hold the big, strong grey, as he’s injured his back.

    Brendan, 23, was contesting only his second ever puissance and delivered fabulous performances right until the end, when the 10-year-old gelding dragged the bricks down behind.

    Mr Blue Sky, however, cleared the massive wall with ease, giving it air behind.

    “I came back in as I know he’s nearly a guarantee [to win it],” Guy said. “He makes the fourth or fifth round every time. He jumps it effortlessly — up to 2m15 he’s in his comfort zone.”

    Guy said he was going to ask Richard Howley, who lives nearby, to ride Mr Blue Sky as he was struggling with his bad back.

    “I had eight weeks off after Spain, I jumped at Windsor but I was bit sore. I went to France and I won a couple of classes there, and it’s getting better, but he gets quite strong so it was making it a bit sore.

    “I was going to get Richard to ride him, but I thought ‘I probably need a few quid to pay the bills, so I’d better jump it’.”

    Guy has lost count of the number of puissances Caroline Phillips’ 14-year-old Chacco Blue gelding has won to date.

    “The biggest he ever went to was 2m24 in Rouen,” Guy said.

    All bar one of the nine horses forward had jumped cleanly until the fourth round, where six combinations, including last year’s winners Mark Edwards and Montreuxs Tale, all caught the wall behind.

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