ROBERT Whitaker added his name to this year’s Olympia roll of honour after galloping to victory on Lacroix in day two’s major class, the Santa Stakes.
The young Yorkshireman produced a fantastic jump-off round to hold off some of the world’s best on the horse he recently rode to grand prix glory at Unex Towerlands and Stockholm.
“He’s had a terrific season,” said Robert, who has won more than £130,000 since May on the 12-year-old Holsteiner.
Bob Ellis’s course certainly caused plenty of excitement and less than 1sec covered the first six home. Young German Daniel Deusser was Robert’s closest rival, finishing only 0.25sec behind on the classy Air Jordan Z, with Beat Mandli third for Switzerland on his reigning World Cup champion Ideo Du Thot.
Robert was keeping up a 100% British record at this show. William Funnell and Denise Stamp’s evergreen Cortaflex Amber Du Montois had earlier headed the Eraser Speed Stakes, a novel class in which riders could knock four faults off their score if they jumped the bigger of two alternative final fences.
The remarkable British-bred mare never wasted an inch to relegate Tim Stockdale (Lou Lou) and Robert and John Whitaker (Rusedski II and Casino) to the minor placings.
“Amber thrives on atmosphere and this show has plenty of that,” said William.
RESULTS (first three & all British placings)
Shelly Ashman, David Rogers (Transport Ltd) and BBB Insurance Eraser Speed Stakes
1. Cortaflex Amber Du Montois (William Funnell)
2. Lou Lou (Tim Stockdale)
3. Rusedski II (Robert Whitaker)
Casino (John Whitaker)
10. Likido (Nick Skelton)
1. Lacroix (Robert Whitaker)
2. Air Jordan Z (Daniel Deusser), GER
3. Ideo Du Thot (Beat Mandli) SUI
8. Sefana (Mark Armstrong)