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Twomey times it to perfection as double-clear secures Rolex Final glory

Billy Twomey won the Rolex IJRC Top-10 Final at the 5-Star Gucci Masters in Paris last night with a superb double-clear performance from Sue Davies' great mare Tinka's Serenade.

The British-based Corkman, who is lying ninth on the world rankings, competed alongside German-based Tipperary man Denis Lynch who is in number eight position, and both were foot-perfect in the opening round over the maximum-height 1.60m track.

All 10 riders went again against the clock, starting in reverse order-of-merit according to their faults and time. And with six on a zero score the quick runs from Lynch and Twomey left them well-poised when third-last and second-last to go respectively in the decider.

Lynch's gigantic 11-year-old gelding, Abbervail van he Dingeshof, left three on the floor this time out, however, but Twomey was fault-free once more in the super-fast time of 48.03 seconds. And when newly crowned European individual champion Rolf-Goran Bengtsson from Sweden collected an uncharacteristic eight faults with the little chestnut gelding Ninja la Silla, Twomey claimed the €58,000 winner's purse.

He left a trail of champions in his wake, with 2008 Olympic champion Eric Lamaze from Canada having to settle for runner-up spot with Coriana van Klapscheut and Germany's 2011 team gold medallist and multiple champion Ludger Beerbaum in third with Gotha.

Last weekend's winner of the Global Champions Tour Final, Australia's Edwina Tops-Alexander, finished fourth with Vleut, while Bengtsson filled fifth spot ahead of Switzerland's Pius Schwizer and Verdi in sixth and Lynch in seventh.

Lynch had earlier finished just outside the money when coming 12th in the Prix Le Figaro at the 5-Star Gucci Masters.

Riding the eight-year-old gelding Crocant, the Irishman was one of 15 to go clear in the first round. But his jump-off time of 40.16 was four seconds short of that recorded by British winner Ben Maher riding the super-talented stallion Tripple X.

Twomey missed out on a place in the jump-off when Romanov had a pole down in the first round of the competition.

Irish Independent