2015 National Champion Alexander Butler carried his run of good form into the autumn season when triumphing in the fourth leg of the Gain/ Alltech Autumn Grand Prix League. Partnering Vimminka, Butler proved fastest in an 11 way decider to take the honours in Sunday’s €3,000 feature class at Kernans EC, sponsored on the day by local business Golden Irish Eggs.
Butler, one of four riders to make it through to the jump-off with more than one mount, made the most of his second chance against the clock setting an unbeatable standard of a double clear round in a time of 39.25 seconds.
Speaking after the class Butler commented, “My mare is very experienced so this level is quite easy for her. I’m delighted to have her show a return to form, she was good earlier in the year especially at the Jumping in the City series but then went off form so it’s great to have her jumping well again.”
Butler and the 13-year-old daughter of Nabab de Reve were indeed on form in the Jumping in the City series. Winning the leg at Cork, the pair went on to finish in the runner-up position in the final round at Shelbourne Park and have also featured in the National Grand Prix league this season. Butler, crowned as National Champion for the second time in his career also won the 2015 Premier Series after an exceptionally consistent run of form.
Kernans EC seems to be a venue that suits Butler with the Co. Kildare based rider having featured there on numerous occasions. Sunday’s result is Butler’s fourth time to win the Autumn Grand Prix in Kernans EC having taken the honours in 2010, 2011 and 2013.
Peter Smyth had set the original time to beat at 39.57 with the Courage ii-sired Diamonds Courage. Smyth had secured the win here in 2014 but had to settle for the runner-up position on this occasion when Butler found a fractionally quicker route home to relegate the northern rider.
Catherine Thornton had a successful day when taking not only the yellow rosette for third but also fourth position in the line-up. Thornton had supplied the first fault free round of the jump-off with Derryinver Luxury Cruise (40.75) but managed to make it home slightly faster aboard the Carrick Diamond Lad-sired Lowhill Glenard Lad, across the line in 40.08.
John Floody made it into the clocked round triple handed and cemented his lead at the top of the leader board when taking the next two placings. Last to go on Mise Le Meas, his winning mount from the Meadows EC, Floody made a solid attempt at the time but faulted on the home stretch to complete with four faults in a time of 39.66.
Floody had made his opening gambit aboard Bronson de Reve, logging 40.09, but proved out of luck when the first fence was left minus its top rail.
Gain/Alltech Autumn Grand Prix League Kernans EC 4th October 2015 Full Result
Sponsored by Golden Irish Eggs
- Alexander Butler Vimminka 0/0 39.25
- Peter Smyth Diamonds Courage 0/0 39.57
- Catherine Thornton Lowhill Glenard Lad 0/0 40.08
- Catherine Thornton Derryinver Luxury Cruise 0/0 40.75
- John Floody Mise Le Meas 0/4 39.66
- John Floody Bronson de Reve 0/4 40.09