Horse of the Year Show: Welcome Stakes and easibed two-phase

  • The home team dominated the first international class at HOYS, Thursday afternoon’s Grandstand Media Welcome Stakes. Robert Bevis has been in terrific form all summer and he translated this to indoors with a terrific jump-off round on Kate Mustill’s Wexford.

    Cousins Robert and William Whitaker did not rush their respective rides, Prima Vera and Arielle and took the minor placings.

    The Irish-bred Wexford is by the Thoroughbred Power Blade, but his dam is unknown.

    “He used to be a bit sharp, but the older he’s got the easier he finds the job,” explained Wexford-based Robert.

    This was a high-quality jump-off, in which two seven-year-olds featured highly. One was Lisa Hales’s tall chestnut Athos, a horse with a lot of maturing to do but who showed all the scope in the world for Australian rider James Paterson-Robinson.

    The other was Sussex-based Irishman Shane Breen’s Carmena Z. Shane thought Carmena would find the HOYS experience daunting, but the grey stallion appeared to enjoy himself greatly en route to a classy double clear.

    Robert Whitaker came back all guns blazing in the easibed two-phase. His round on Mandy Hall’s Rusedski was too good for his rivals, although Billy Twomey did come close on Whinnie Jackson.

    The nine-year-old Rusedski has hit terrific form of late.

    “He just can’t seem to stop winning,” said Robert.

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