By Mike Dunne

There might have been just a hint of déjà vu about in this morning’s Speed Championship at Dublin Horse Show when Italy’s Lorenzo De Luca took the lead with Halifax van het Kluizebos. The Italian rider is having an awesome week, being on the winning Nations Cup team, and taking three individual classes with Limestone Grey and one on his mount in this contest. De Luca set a good pace today, but with four faults bringing his time up to 75.95 and with the bulk of the field still to jump, it was never going to last.

Minutes later Bertram Allen and his proven speedster Quiet Easy V shot to the top with a clear in 68.90, only to be overhauled shortly afterwards by Shane Sweetnam partnering yesterday’s winner Cyklon who got around safely and faster by a second-and-a-half.

There were still plenty of combinations to come, but no one was able to catch Sweetnam. Capt Geoff Curran’s decent attempt on Shannondale Rahona saw him slot in behind Allen and it wasn’t until last to go Billy Twomey and Ardcolum Duke arrived that the target was under threat. Twomey has been in the shake-up so many times this week, and today he almost caught Sweetnam but the clock didn’t stop in time and he missed by one-tenth of a second.

It moved Allen back to third and edged Curran off the podium. Brazilian Yuri Mansur Gueiros took fifth on Amor, and De Luca, after all, earned some more euros in sixth place.

Dublin Horse Show Speed Championship
1. Cyklon/Shane Sweetnam (IRL) 0 67.41
2. Ardcolum Duke/Billy Twomey (IRL) 0 67.51
3. Quiet Easy 4/Bertram Allen (IRL) 0 68.90
4. Shannondale Rahona/Capt. Geoff Curran (IRL) 0 70.34
5. Amor/Yuri Mansur Guerios (BRA) (4) 72.12