Darragh Kenny became the third Irishman to win the big evening class at Olympia when scooping the Longines Christmas Cracker on his exciting Tokyo Olympic prospect Classic Dream. Kenny was fastest rider in a thrilling eight-man jump-off, beating the Netherlands’ Bart Bles on Gin D by 1.27 seconds.
William Whitaker’s great show continued with third place on RMF Echo and Austria’s Max Kühner was fourth on Cornet Kalua ahead of British young rider Harry Charles, who put up a spirited challenge on Borsato, but had a fence down and finished in fifth place.
Earlier this year, Kenny was third on the nine-year-old Classic Dream behind Ben Maher and the season’s equine phenomenon Explosion W at the London leg of the GCT tour; this was no mean achievement and his rider admits that he is quietly excited about the chestnut gelding’s prospects.
“I’ve known for a couple of years that he was a proper grand prix horse,” explained Kenny, who will ride Classic Dream in Sunday night’s Turkish Airlines Olympia Grand Prix. “He’s still quite green, but he was exceptional in this jump-off, really picking up, and he’s a horse for the future. He seems to like London anyway!
“I know him inside out and have always thought that he’s a Tokyo horse. He’s a little bit quirky, but he always wants to win.”
Kenny is now seventh on the Leading Rider of the Show rankings, which is now led by Britain’s William Whitaker from Holly Smith. The remarkably consistent Michael Jung from Germany, whose first discipline is eventing, is now in third place from Ben Maher, but all could change in tomorrow’s showpiece Longines FEI World Cup™ qualifier.