James Fisher wins the Refco Derby Tankard in an exciting three-horse jump off climax
James Fisher captured the honours in the Refco Derby Tankard, the major class of the openingday of Hickstead’s Derby meeting.
On a day when clear rounds were a rarity, the man from Berkshire came out best on Idle Dice in a three-horse jump-off, holding off the challenge from John Whitaker on Sue Edwards’s Bit More Candy by a fraction, with John Popely, who produced the fastest time, in third after Luidam lowered the final planks.
This was the best win so far for the Dutch-bred 12-year-old Idle Dice, a son of Jasper whom James bought one year ago.
The horse has been consistent on the national circuit, including winning the international trial at James’s local BSJA Area 38 show.
“He’s a lovely, genuine horse, but I’m pushing him a bit as he’s my only grade A atthe moment,” said James, who intends jumping Idle Dice in Friday’s Derby Trial.
The Whitaker family went one place better in the Derby Salver speed class when 19-year-old Robert rode his European young riders team gold medallist, Quinten II, to victory.
America’s Norman Dello Joio held the lead for a long time on Peace Train, but Robert’s smooth round, which was a pleasure to watch, overtook him by almost 2sec.
Quinten will be one of two horses Robert will take the Rotterdam next weekend, where he is part of Britain’s Nations Cup team, and the young Yorkshireman is also hopeful of qualifying the chesnut stallion for the Derby.
“He’s so laid-back and nothing really bothers him,”he said. “I’ve practiced dykes at home and as long as he jumps the one here, I’m confident of qualifying.”
There was almost a double for Robert, but he had to settle for second place on Temple Croesus in the earlier young riders championship behind another rider who is enjoying a tremendous season, 16-year-old Louise Pavitt, who won the class on Make Haste.
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