Nicola Fitzgibbon stole the limelight in the final round of the TRM/Horseware Premier Series when winning the grand finale with Lady Georgina Forbes’ Poker des Dames. Fitzgibbon put in a show stopping performance to claim the lion’s share of the €10,000 purse on offer kindly sponsored by Clive Richardson Ltd.
With all eyes on the leader board heading into the final round, Fitzgibbon came in under the radar to claim the final victory of the season. Taking full advantage of a late draw, Fitzgibbon came home with over a second to spare when stopping the clock in 40.00 seconds.
Fitzgibbon has been partnered with the 12-year-old Nabab de Reve sired gelding since the beginning of the season and has featured consistently throughout the year. While Monday was their first Premier victory together, Fitzgibbon and Poker des Dames have shown this sort of form when winning both legs of the TRM/Horseware National Grand Prix League at Omagh and Tattersalls.
Fitzgibbon may have won on the day but it was Alexander Butler who took the Premier Series outright as well as the title of National Champion for the second time. The league remained all to play for heading into the final round with the top five all capable of winning due to points and a half on offer.
Butler triumphed as the only one of these to make it through to the timed decider and finished the day in style when taking third place with Hallowberry Cruz, posting the fastest time of the day, 39.96, albeit with a total of four faults.
Butler commented, “Having achieved this once I had always aimed to do it again. It’s been my plan from the start of the year. Hallowberry Cruz also got leading horse which is great for his owners Caroline and Paul Byrne.”
Deane Rogan took the runner-up position in Grand Prix with Falco Van Spieveld. Fresh from a top four finish in the international Grand Prix at Millstreet, Rogan had held the lead in the five strong jump-off when the clock recorded 41.16 with nothing to add.
Francis Connors had put in a solid attempt at a double clear with Erne Ladygoldilocks but unfortunately faulted on the way home and had to settle for eventual fourth place in the line-up.
Frank Curran, coming through carrying four faults from the first round, added a single error to that score with New World to finish on a total of eight in a time of 41.13.
Vincent Byrne filled the final place in the top six with four faults in the first round in a time of 77.52 with Mr. Rockefeller.
TRM/Horseware Premier Series Grand Prix League the Meadows EC 24th August 2015 Result
Sponsored by Clive Richardson Ltd
1. Nicola Fitzgibbon Poker des Dames 0/0 40.00
2. Deane Rogan Falco Van Spieveld 0/0 41.16
3. Alexander Butler Hallowberry Cruz 0/4 39.96
4. Francis Connors Erne Ladygoldilocks 0/4 46.47
5. Frank Curran New World 4/4 41.13
6. Vincent Byrne Mr. Rockefeller 4/- 77.52