Lennon targets Grand Prix after Speed Derby delight
Irish riders recorded a double win in the international arena at the Discover Ireland Dublin Horse Show yesterday.
Dermott Lennon won a second Speed Derby victory in a row with 10-year-old mare Loughview Lou Lou. The pair also won the Grand Prix at Olympia in London last December.
The Banbridge man is now aiming for Sunday's €200,000 Longines Grand Prix with Hallmark Elite, which he steered into second behind Switzerland's Olympic champion Steve Guerdat in yesterday's Knight Frank Speed Stakes.
Alexander Butler and Will Wimble were eliminated in Wednesday's Sports Council Classic, but they got their act together yesterday to pip Frenchman Jerome Hurel for the honours in the Burlington Hotel Anglesea Stakes.
And Irish chef d'equipe, Robert Splaine named his team for today's Aga Khan Cup. Clones rider Clem McMahon will lead the way with young stallion Pacino, followed by US-based Kilkenny man Richie Moloney with Ahorn van de Zuuthoeve, American-based Sligo rider Darragh Kerins with Lisona and Cian O'Connor with his Olympic bronze-medal-winning ride, Blue Loyd.
And they have the best of the draw when they go out last of the eight teams. Splaine said the draw was "helpful".
Anchorman O'Connor is leaving nothing to chance.
"I've been celebrating winning the medal in London, but its time to re-focus and mentally prepare," he said.
The man who missed out on selection was Billy Twomey, but both the Nottingham-based rider and O'Connor had reason to be pleased yesterday when Ireland's junior jumping team won European gold in Austria.
Twomey trains Bertram Allen and owns the horse ridden by the young Wexford man, Wild Thing, while Max O'Reilly-Hyland is coached by O'Connor who was riding Da Vinci's Pride.
Shannon McKenzie and Sven Hadley completed the Irish side that defeated 20 other European nations.