Cadenza Conquers all in Gold Tour Qualifier
They were first out of the 24 combinations to be challenged by Gerrit Beker in the one round speed class in the Land Rover Grass Arena, flying home all clear in 84.75 seconds. Sophie Scott (Wellington) and her gorgeous big grey Glenbrooke Rich as Roses were next to leave everything in place but with a slower time of 90.87 seconds and fifth place.
Winner of yesterday’s opening qualifier, Duncan McFarlane (Taupo) and Be Mine NZPH gave it a good nudge with their clean 86.18 second effort but in the end has to settle for second. Nakeysha Lammers (Cambridge) and her homebred Resolution were clear in 96.24 seconds for sixth. Current Olympic Cup holder Brooke Edgecombe (Waipukurau) and LT Host Andrea showed they’re back to full strength with a great clear in 87.69 seconds for third spot with Sarah West (Te Aroha) and Oaks Centurian rounding out the class with their clear 89.41-second effort for fourth place.
Last to go, Briar Burnett-Grant (Taupo) and Fiber Fresh Veroana were on track to take the win with a super speedy 80.54-second round but dropped the middle of the treble and finished out of the money.
Daniel was rapt with his nine-year-old chestnut gelding who has been with him a year-and-a-half. “We had already qualified so the goal was just to give him a run as we had nothing to lose,” said the fulltime rider and trainer. “I didn’t feel we were going too fast but he has quite a big stride and is very forward when he goes. I am really excited for the final on Sunday.”
The horse can be a tricky ride but Daniel says he’s fine with careful management. “You just never know what he will be like on the day . . . he has a high flight response.”
It was Daniel’s first win at Takapoto. “It is the most beautiful venue. A big thanks to Kate and Mitch (Plaw) and the whole Takapoto team.”
He also thanked his owners and sponsors. “If not for them, I couldn’t do what I love to do.”
Trinity Hill Gold Tour Qualifier Two: Daniel Blundell (Auckland) Cadenza NZPH 1, Duncan McFarlane (Taupo) Be Mine NZPH 2, Brooke Edgecombe (Waipukurau) LT Holst Andrea 3, Sarah West (Te Aroha) Oaks Centurian 4, Sophie Scott (Wellington) Glenbrooke Rich as Roses 5, Nakeysha Lammers (Cambridge) Resolution 6.
For full results, head to www.main-events.com
Photo by Cheleken Photography, words by Diana Dobson