Irish duo McAuley and Duffy off to winning start at Global Champions Tour fixture in Portugal
- 21 June 2019, 15:29
Irish riders have already chalked up notable wins on the international stage ahead of this weekend’s action, with Co Louth’s Mark McAuley and Galway’s Michael Duffy both taking five-star victories on Thursday.
McAuley was first out of the blocks at the Global Champions Tour fixture in Estoril in Portugal, taking the top prize in the 1m45 speed class with the Charlotte Mordasini-owned Utchan de Belheme. They finished 0.15 of a second ahead of British runner-up Harry Charles with Controe.
The opening day feature class at the same venue also went to Ireland, with Michael Duffy claiming over €15,000 for his victory with The Irish Sport Horse Mullaghdrin Touch the Stars, who was bred in Co Kildare by Dr Noel Cawley. A fantastic round by the Irish pair saw them finish almost a second and a half ahead of Germany runner-up Marco Kutscher with Casallvano, while Wexford’s Bertram Allen finished fourth with Molly Malone V.
Allen’s round helped Valkenswaard United into second place in the Estoril Global Champions League ahead of the second round on Saturday while Darragh Kenny’s Paris Panthers are in second place.
Closer to home, the world famous Hickstead Derby takes place this Sunday in the UK, with a large group of Irish riders having traveled to the West Sussex venue in search of glory in one of the most famous competitions on the equestrian calendar.
Tipperary’s Shane Breen will be among the favourites to lift the Hickstead Derby trophy and looks in good form having won today’s (Friday) Derby Trial with Golden Hawk after producing the only double clear round.