The London Knights have catapulted themselves into the overall GCL ranking lead after a phenomenal win from Ben Maher and Explosion W and Martin Fuchs with Chaplin at GCL Cascais, Estoril.
After their sublimely quick combined time, the Knights heaped the pressure on the teams to follow, storming to an untouchable win after playing to their team’s strengths. In a dramatic turn of fortunes, the Knights have charged to the top of the leaderboard, with a score of 172 points overall. But the Shanghai Swans will undoubtedly be looking for vengeance, as they sit just two points behind the 2018 title holders on 170 points overall. Another strong result for Madrid in Motion see the team move to 162 points, and third in the Championship standings.
Said Ben Maher:
We have had a great season but have had a few weeks that didn’t go as we wanted. But we have momentum now, with the right horses and right riders, so hopefully this is the change in our season.”
Martin Fuchs agreed that the team had a plan and really utilised their team’s strengths today. “We both had good and quick horses, so we wanted to put the pressure on the others.”
Ben agreed that pressure on those to follow had been the Knights’ tactics:
I knew I’d be a little slower than Martin today, which is why I went first today. That was the game-plan – to put enough pressure on the others to force mistakes.”
The Knights finished ahead of Valkenswaard United’s Marcus Ehning with Comme Il Faut and Bertram Allen with Molly Malone V. The Paris Panthers who claimed third after a strong performance from Darragh Kenny with Classic Dream and Gregory Wathelet with Mjt Nevados S.
Paris Panthers rider, Gregory Wathelet commented:
After four teams on clear we knew it was going to be tough, so we were happy with the good result. The season is very long but let’s see if we can hold onto good positions.”
The ninth round of action in the Championship race was a thrilling showdown, with one of the tightest fields seen so far this season, with the lowest score only 12 faults.
Frank Rothenberger’s course saw the riders and horses galloping the full length of the grass arena, with some questioning distances and plenty for the riders to think about. The course had thirteen obstacles, with 15 efforts, includina double combination set down the VIP hospitality, a roll back to the GC vertical set away from the in-gate before another Longines double. The time allowed was 80s.
Fans packed the grandstand, with every seat taken for this thrilling round of action. The knowledgable crowd cheered their riders, enjoying the balmy evening including the President of the Republic of Portugal Rebelo Marcelo de Sousa.
Said Duarte Guedes, LGCT Cascais President: “I have two feelings today – I am very glad because it was a nice event, nice public and beautiful sport which is important. I am also proud. Proud to be part of Global Tour. And this weekend there were many other 5 star shows on but you see the riders that are here are the best riders in the world.”
The Championship now looks to Monaco, next week, for the 10th leg of the race for the 2019 title.
For the full results, please click here.