Guy Williams was on sizzling form again at Olympia horse show, winning both the Renault Christmas Masters and the evening’s opening speed class, the Kingsland Christmas Tree Stakes.
Depardieu van T Kiezelhof was runner-up in the Masters last year when only a seven-year-old. Guy made the most of his final draw this time — the influence of which he says is “massive” in this type of tactical competition — admitting he felt sorry for runner-up Scott Brash.
The horse was not originally aimed at Olympia; he only came in from the field two weeks ago and jumped just five cross-poles in preparation.
“He doesn’t win many, but when he does they are usually big ones,” said Guy.
Guy’s speed win with Djakata beat Finland’s Nina Fagerstrom on Mouse by over 1.5 seconds. “I knew that Guy would be tough — he always goes for the win,” she said.
However, his luck ran out in the Santa Stakes where Titus failed to qualify for the jump-off. This class was another marathon, with 14 through.
Frenchman Simon Delestre won from second draw with his young mare Whisper, swiping 9sec off the trailblazer’s target. “In different circumstances I might have played it another way. Perhaps I went so fast I made others make mistakes,” he said.
Tina Fletcher was best of the three Brits, fourth on Ursula, after a considered clear which, unusually, incurred a time-fault.
Earlier, Daniel Neilson was convincing winner of the Team Murka and World Class Programme Under 23 Championship. He appeared to be the only contender likely to master the substantial first round track until the third last to go, William Whitaker (who also took the special style prize) achieved the second clear. They remained ahead after a jump-off involving the best of the four- and eight-faulters.
Olga White of Team Murka is doubling the under 23 series prize-money with immediate effect.
“It’s a massively important class,” said Daniel, 21, who also won in 2007. “Its important to get your name out there and hope it leads to some senior Nations Cup appearances.”
Don’t miss our full report on all the action in next week’s magazine, on sale Thursday 22 December, 2012