Funnell triumphs in Welcome Stakes

  • The Funnell family’s fantastic year continued in some style at Olympia when William Funnell went one place better than wife Pippa the previous evening with a devastating performance on Cortaflex Machiavelli to win the opening Welcome Stakes.

    Germany’s Alois Pollmann-Schweckhorst held a considerable lead on his Royal International winner Diamonds Daylight, but William and the versatile Machiavelli – a horse who is equally effective in Nations Cups – found every short-cut to win by 2.6sec.

    In a fine class for the host nation, the two oldest horses in the field, the wonderful grey stallion Randi (pictured below), with Robert Whitaker, and Andrew Davies’s great servant, Captain Wellington, filled the next two places, ahead of Olympia newcomer Paul Parker, who jumped a great round on Blue Chip Kildalton Lad.

    Tim Stockdale and Guy Williams made the most of their late invitations to the show when they finished first and third in the Martin Collins table C. Tim rode Fresh Direct Glenwood Springs to victory by almost 3sec from Maria Gretzer (Ricarda T), with Guy, another making his first appearance here, fractionally behind on the HOYS grand prix winner, Loro Piana Hamlet.

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