A fourth place in the World Cup Grand Prix in Bordeaux, France tonight kept Ireland’s Denis Lynch near the top of the Western European league, even though he didn’t need further points to qualify for the World Cup final in Nebraska, USA, in a month’s time.

Though not winning a World Cup qualifier outright this season, the Tipperary rider has maintained a high number of top five finishes, piling up a total of 58 points to keep him within the top 18 who will take part in the final.

Tonight’s qualifier at Bordeaux saw 39 starters and a large number of first round clears, 19 in total.

Bertram Allen was first to go of the two Irish competitors in the initial round, but despite a spirited performance from the grey Molly Malone, one fence down left the duo with four faults and no place in the jump-off.

Twenty-eighth to jump, Denis Lynch and the 14 year-old stallion All Star made no mistakes in a speedy first round, and went through to the final round unhindered. Though foot perfect in the jump-off, All Star could not match the winning time of France’s Julien Epaillard with Quatrin de la Roque LM, and settled for fourth place, which the Irish combination held until the end.

Denis Lynch and All Star at Bordeaux tonight

Tonight’s result also hoisted Lynch back up to third place in the Western European League, just behind Italy’s Lorenzo de Luca and French leader Kevin Staut.

With just one more qualifier to go, at Gothenburg in Sweden, Lynch’s place at the World Cup Final in Omaha is now assured.

Jack Burns