The “Whitaker run” continued at HOYS on Thursday in the opening international class of the show, the easibed Stakes.
But a good crowd had to wait until the last rider to jump to see the winning round. Tim Stockdale led with his perennial favourite, John Bosher’s Fresh Direct Glenwood Springs, but Robert Whitaker breezed round on the coloured Nureev to head the line by almost 1sec.
Robert Bevis showed the value of the wildcard qualification system when he rode Lucy May to victory in the Grandstand Media Cup. Robert gained his place in the international classes here by heading the points table at Rowallan and he showed exactly why with a great round in this speed class on Lucy May.
Robert gained the ride when the mare’s regular partner, Andrew Saywell, decided to concentrate on business commitments and young horses.
“And I’m so grateful to Andrew for letting me ride her,” he said.
The second national class was strongly contested. After an 11-horse jump-off, the £1,000 first prize went to Welshman Lee Williams, who flew round on the 16hh Linaro to defeat early leaders Graham Lovegrove and Golisco D’Or by nearly 2sec.
Lee was quite surprised by this win: “I had no idea Linaro could go that fast,” he said.