Nicola Fitzgibbon took her second victory of the TRM/Horseware National Grand Prix League with a win in the fourteenth leg at Tattersalls. Triumphant in Omagh earlier this month, Fitzgibbon was once again paired with Georgina Forbes’ Poker des Dames in Saturday’s €4,000 feature class, sponsored by Tattersalls Ireland and the Ward Union Hunt.
International course designer Tom Holden set the challenge for the huge starting list of 78 which yielded only 11 clear rounds and with one withdrawal, an even 10 lined out for the timed decider.
Fitzgibbon, with the advantage of a late draw, knew exactly what had to be done and managed to make it home with time to spare when the clock read 35.66 seconds.
Fitzgibbon has been paired with the 12-year-old Nabab de Reve sired gelding since the beginning of this year and notched up some impressive results. After a win in the Spring Tour earlier in the season, Fitzgibbon cemented her partnership with Poker des Dames with a stint in San Giovanni before returning home to finish third in the second leg of the Jumping in the City series as well as taking the runner-up position in the leg of the Grand Prix League at Cavan and the aforementioned victory at Omagh.
Fitzgibbon relegated long-time leader Cian O’Connor to runner-up spot. O’Connor had set what looked like an unbeatable target of 35.97 with Aramis 573. O’Connor was last year’s Connolly’s Redmills Seven and Eight Year Old Champion with the eight-year-old Holstein stallion and the pair have shown good form of late in both Hickstead and La Baule.
Robert Power had set the original standard at a fault free 36.65 with Doonaveeragh O One but had to settle for eventual fourth place when Peter Moloney found a fractionally quicker route home aboard Ribanbelle Tame, completing in 36.63.
2014 National Grand Prix League Champion Vincent Byrne made a decent attempt at the time with the Ard VDL Douglas-sired Mr. Rockefeller but came home just outside the mark in 36.79. Damien Griffin proved fastest of the remaining double clears when recording a time of 37.01 with Tabby which would secure sixth position in the line-up.
TRM/Horseware National Grand Prix League Tattersalls Show 25th July 2015 Result
Sponsored by Tattersalls Ireland and the Ward Union Hunt
1. Nicola Fitzgibbon Poker des Dames 0/0 35.66
2. Cian O’Connor Aramis 573 0/0 35.97
3. Peter Moloney Ribanbelle Tame 0/0 36.63
4. Robert Power Doonaveeragh O One 0/0 36.65
5. Vincent Byrne Mr Rockefeller 0/036.79
6. Damien Griffin Tabby 0/0 37.01