Robert Whitaker was singing in the rain in the opening afternoon at Royal Windsor after riding Lacroix to victory in the major class, the Land Rover Grade A.
The man from Yorkshire laid down a fantastic target from second draw of a huge jump-off and his closest challenge came from the last to go, another young talent in Ryan Prater on the flamboyant grey Vahagn De Lozana.
Robert was pleased with Lacroix, who looks fresh and ready for the outdoor season.
“I shall put him away until Sunday now,” said Robert, who is hoping to repeat his last year’s grand prix victory here.
Matt Sampson produced two classy rounds to win the Accenture Young Riders class under floodlights on his boss Duncan Inglis’s mare, Miss Sante. Matt, a pony European team gold medallist last season, has made a smooth transition to horses.
“I’m hoping he might make this year’s junior European team,” said Duncan.
The remaining jumping classes were dominated by Geoff Luckett, who scored three wins. The best of these came in the Walwyn Novice Championship in which the man from Banbury rode an inspired jump-off round on Jo Passette’s To The Point.
View all the results at: www.rwhs.co.uk