Equestrian: Breen lands second spot at La Baule to maintain hot streak
Shane Breen continued his exceptional run of form when finishing fourth in Saturday's Derby and second in yesterday's Prix French Tour at La Baule.
But the Irish were out of luck in the Longines Grand Prix in which America's McLain Ward (Sapphire) pipped team-mate Mario Deslauriers (Urico) to take the €66,000 first prize.
Breen's horses are riding fresh after a long winter break, and the British-based Tipperary man had just one fence down on the Derby course, riding Mullaghdrin Gold Rain. With the slowest four faults, however, he had to settle for fourth, while America's Richard Spooner won through with the only clear of the competition, riding Pako.
Shane Sweetnam slotted into fifth with Little Emir after picking up seven faults for a fence down and three time-penalties.
Yesterday began well for Breen when, riding Dorada, he was just pipped in the first class of the day, but Mullaghdrin picked up eight faults in the opening round of the Grand Prix, as did Darragh Kenny's Obelix, while Cameron Hanley missed out by an even narrower margin when Southwind VDL left just one on the floor.
In Hamburg, none of the Irish contenders featured in Saturday's second leg of the Global Champions Tour won by America's Lauren Hough (Quick Study). But Denis Lynch, who won Thursday's Grand Prix Qualifier with Nabab's Son, was eighth in yesterday's Derby with Upsilon d'Ocquier and Jessica Kuerten won Friday's Accumulator with Castle Forbes Myrtille Paulois.