Darryl Walker is certainly proving to be a force to be reckoned with as he took another victory in Saturday’s TRM/Horseware National Grand Prix at Cork Summer Show. Riding Manuela Martinelli’s nine-year-old mare Cushions, he crossed the line 0.6 seconds faster than his closest rival to take the winner’s share of €4,000 in the Munster Agriculture sponsored class.
By Flex A Bill and out of Ard Flo, the Irish Sport Horse mare Cushions is proving to be very consistent for Walker at this level, having won the final of the Spring Tour at Coilog, third in the National Grand Prix in Louth County and more recently the win in Charleville Grand Prix.
Walker said “It was another super performance from the mare, against some very strong competition. I really feel that the mare is improving all the time. The fact that there were 16 in the jump-off says what a high standard of a class that it was. It was very good course designing as you had to ride every fence, but nothing was designed to catch you out. To be honest, I watched Vinny’s round and I really couldn’t see how I was going to made up the time. I did nothing different than Vinny in terms of turns; I was just quicker across the ground to the last fence”
On form having won the Grand Prix in Bannow & Rathangan the Thursday previous, Vincent Byrne put in an impressive performance with Mr Rockefeller and lowered the target, clear in 40.29 seconds.
Last to go, Walker knew he had a tough challenge ahead. Setting off strong with Cushions, he negotiated a series of good turns, but it was towards the end of the course that he made up the time and crossed the line with nothing to add in 40.23 seconds to take the win, leaving Byrne to take second place.
Alexander Butler and Monastery Stud More Pleasure was the only combination to stay in the 40 second mark, in 40.47 for eventual third. This was the first National Grand Prix placing for the duo this year.
No stranger to the winner’s enclosure, Liam O’Meara didn’t hang about with Mr Coolcaum, but despite a strong pace throughout the course, a clear in 41.73 proved only good enough for fourth.
Nineteen-year-old Jenny Rankin put in a strong performance with Richard Bourns Colorland’s Cheyenne when crossing the line in 41.78 for fifth place.
Opting for a safer clear, Joan Greene’s experience showed as she lodged a clear in 44.47 with Liam Brennan’s 10-year-old Irish Sport Horse, Coolgrange Cruising for sixth place.
TRM/Horseware Premier Series Grand Prix from Cork Summer Show 12th July result.
Sponsored by: Munster Agriculture
1st Cushions/D.Walker 0/0 40.23
2nd Mr.Rockefeller/V.Byrne 0/0 40.29
3rd Monastery Stud More Pleasure/A.Butler 0/0 40.47
4th Mr Coolcaum/L O’Meara 0/0 41.73
5th Colorland’s Cheyenne/J.Rankin 0/0 41.78
6th Coolgrange Cruising/J.Greene 0/0 44.47