Two clear rounds apiece by Bertram Allen and John Whitaker extended Valkenswaard United’s lead at the top of the inaugural Global Champions League after the penultimate round in Vienna this afternoon.

Bertram Allen and Romanov competing in today’s Global Champions League

It was very much a formbook outcome, with the top four teams in the standings filling the top four places in today’s contest. Rome Gladiators, who finished second today, have guaranteed themselves a top four finish in this first season but they cannot overtake Valkenswaard at the top no matter what happens in the final leg in Doha in November.

The Rome team gave it their best shot today with their two riders, Laura Renwick (Bintang) and Jack Towell (Emile de Diamant AS), delivering double-clears, but had to settle for second on time, with Allen (Romanov) and Whitaker (Ornellaia) comfortably faster overall for Valkenswaard.

However, Monaco Aces and Antwerp Diamonds, who finished third and fourth respectively today, are still close enough to be in with a chance of toppling the leaders in the last round, and Bertram Allen acknowledged afterwards that the title wasn’t secured yet. “It could not have been closer going into today with only 1.5 points between us and the next team. It’s more than that now but not by much.”

Earlier in the day, Allen claimed fourth place in the Vienna Masters class, riding Izzy By Picobello. The 21 year-old delivered two faultless rounds, and led briefly in the jump-off before being edged back to fourth place, with Dutch rider Harrie Smolders and the stallion Don VHP Z proving fastest. Denis Lynch also made the jump-off on Campino but had eights faults to finish in eighth place.

Mike Dunne

Global Champions League 

Standings after round 14 of 15.

1. Valkenswaard United 309.50

2. Antwerp Diamonds 301.00

3. Monaco Aces 299.50

4. Rome Gladiators 281.50

5. Cannes Stars 247.00

6. Paris Jets 242.50

7. Shanghai Swans 241.00

8 Cascais Charms 230.50

9. Doha Fursan Qatar 231.00

10.Madrid In Motion 230.00

11. Miami Glory 229.00

12. Vienna Eagles 224.50.