King of speed
Guy Williams was confident from start to finish that he was going to win the Bunn Leisure Speed Derby on Casper De Muze. He has only had the 12-year-old since Christmas, but quickly formed a successful partnership winning eight out of nine classes on the Sunshine Tour. Guy said: “I had a feeling he was going to win. The aim has always been the Speed Derby and I had to keep the brake on yesterday. My main worry was Belinka, who was last to go, as I used to ride her (she is now ridden by Richard Howley) and I know she is fast.”
Guy jumped one of only two clear rounds, the other being Harriet Nuttall on Silver Lift, who finished in second place. Harriet jumped the fastest round of the day on Highland Cruiser II, but 12 faults saw them drop to fifth position. Matthew Sampson finished third and Charlotte Platt was fourth.
It is ten years since Guy last won the Speed Derby, which he did in both 2002 and 2004 on Be Precise.
Based on form and experience, both Guy Williams and Harriet Nuttall are amongst the favourites entered for Sunday’s Equestrian.com Hickstead Derby. Harriet rides A Touch Imperious, while Guy has two rides, Depardieu van t Kiezelhof and Skip Two Ramiro, who has an amazing record in the class, having been placed in the Derby most years since 2003 and winning the title in 2010.
“If I ride Skippy well he could definitely win it,” says Guy. “He’s 18 now and only jumps four times a year but as long as he’s enjoying it he can keep doing it. Last year he didn’t feel quite right, but we’ve got him a lot fitter this year.”
To see more pictures from Saturday’s action visit our Gallery Page