Allen holds off Sweetnam to take Swedish Derby prize
Irish riders continued their sensational run at Falsterbo in Sweden when swamping the opposition with another one-two-three in Saturday's Derby, which was won by Bertram Allen.
From a field of 14 starters, just four managed to jump clear in the first round, including Allen, Shane Sweetnam and Cian O'Connor. Their single non-Irish opponent was Rio 2016 Olympic individual silver medallist Peder Fredricson, riding H&M Carat Desire.
However, the Swede left a fence on the floor in the jump-off, while all three Irishmen produced another clear, with 21-year-old Allen (above)returning the quickest time when galloping through the finish in 49.31 seconds.
All the more remarkable was the fact that the Wexford-born rider was competing on a gelding of just eight years of age, the Belgian-bred Christy Jnr, which also took a runner-up finish with Allen on Thursday. Allen bagged €28,000 for victory.
Shane Sweetnam was next fastest, bringing the nine-year-old mare Indra van Oude Heihof home in 50.02 to slot into second, while Cian O'Connor steered his Friday winner, the 12-year-old Copain du Perchet, into third when just over a second further adrift.
The Irish also posted a one-two-three in the Grand Prix qualifier and finished a highly competitive third in Friday's Nations Cup.
New Irish Chef d'Equipe, Rodrigo Pessoa, described the Nations Cup result as "very positive" as he continues to build towards the European Championships in Gothenburg, Sweden, on 21 August.
Before that the team has two more Division 1 Nations Cup outings, at Hickstead next week and Dublin Horse Show in four weeks' time.