Saturday 10 December 2016

'Unbeatable' Allen steals the show in Hong Kong

Equestrian

Mike Dunne

Published 22/02/2016 | 02:30

Bertram Allen rode Quiet Easy IV to claim Friday’s Hong Kong Jockey Club Trophy and the Longines Speed Challenge on Saturday. Photo: Cody Glenn / Sporsfile
Bertram Allen rode Quiet Easy IV to claim Friday’s Hong Kong Jockey Club Trophy and the Longines Speed Challenge on Saturday. Photo: Cody Glenn / Sporsfile

Bertram Allen was in scintillating form at the prestigious Longines Masters meeting in Hong Kong over the weekend.

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The Wexford man won the hearts of the crowd with two thrilling performances on Quiet Easy IV to claim Friday's Hong Kong Jockey Club Trophy and the Longines Speed Challenge on Saturday.

"Bertram is so fast, if he's clear he's nearly unbeatable at the moment," said British legend John Whitaker, who saw Allen snatch the latter competition from his grasp with a breathtaking round that had the raucous spectators gasping in amazement.

"I was last to go, I had nothing to lose," said the Wexford man, who paid tribute to Quiet Easy for delivering the goods two days running. In the midst of all the adulation, Allen played down expectations ahead of yesterday's Longines Masters Grand Prix in which he was competing on the inexperienced Hector van d'Abdijhoeve.

The Irish pair qualified for the jump-off and went clear again, taking fifth in the class won by Germany's Marco Kutscher on Van Gogh.

Allen (pictured) and Hector had graced the podium on Saturday when third in the Airbus Cup, and taken a fourth place in Friday's opening Speed competition.

At Ocala in Florida on Friday, Team Ireland were carrying 21 faults at the half-way stage of the Furusiyya FEI Nations Cup, and despite producing a much-improved second round, including a clear round from Cian O'Connor on Sam du Challois, Taylor Vard's team had to settle for fifth in the contest, which was won by the USA.

At Wellington in Florida, Darragh Kenny claimed the 3-Star Grand Prix with Red Star d'Argent on Friday night, while in Al Ain in the United Arab Emirates, Anthony Condon, who was double-clear in Thursday's Nations Cup, rounded off a great week by finishing ninth in the Grand Prix with Aristio on Saturday.

At Neumunster in Germany yesterday, Judy Reynolds and Vancouver K finished 12th in the second-last Dressage World Cup qualifier.

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