John Floody extends his lead ahead of the final of the Gain/Alltech Grand Prix Final
Reigning Autumn Grand Prix Champion, John Floody moved one step closer to retaining the title for another year as he rode to victory in the penultimate leg of the Gain/Alltech Grand Prix at Killossery Lodge Stud last Monday.
Riding Ballyknock Diamond, Floody not only took the winner’s share of the €2,000 in the host sponsored class, but also lodged another 10 points on the leaderboard, which sees him going into the final at Cavan top of the leaderboard on 21 points.
Speaking after the win, Floody said, ‘’I am delighted with the result today as it puts me top of the leaderboard going into the final. It was a very quick jump-off and both horses performed very well. I have Ballyknock Diamond since he was five and he has been a brilliant horse and is very successful and has a lot of scope and a great brain. I will aim him at the Premier next year and I am looking forward to stepping up to this level with hi’’.
Owned by Francis Hughes, Ballyknock Diamond is an eight-year-old gelding by Jacomar out of a Touchdown mare, Ballinlock. This was the second good result for this combination in the series having finished second in the round at the Cavan Indoor Championships. The pairing have been consistently placed on the national circuit taking the win in the Ulster Grand Prix at Cavan in August, second in the Horseware/TRM National Grand at Barnadown and third in the Grand Prix at Louth. The pairing also clocked up a series of results in the Spring Tour.
Pathfinders in the 14-way jump-off, Tholm Keane and Future Storm set the bar high as they took a series of tight turns and delivered the first double clear in 28.64, which would later see him take the runner-up place.
Keen to gain the point advantage prior to the final, Floody wasted no time and set off in a determined pace with Ballyknock Diamond. A quick pace along with a tight turn from the double at 12 and then back to the final line saw him clock the winning time of 28.53 seconds. It was a good day for Floody as he took another place in the line-up when he partnered Eileen Duggan’s Bronson de Reve to another clear in 28.90 seconds for third place.
Also in the running for the title, Tipperary’s Liam O’ Meara had his eye on the win and he once again featured in the line-up with two of his mounts.
Double handed in the jump-off, O’Meara took it on first with Curraghgraigue Jack Take Flight. Speed merchants against the clock, O’Meara didn’t hang about, but despite his best efforts a clear in 29.57 failed to oust Floody from the lead and he had to contend with fifth place.
Last to go, Liam O’ Meara had one final chance to take the lead as he took it on with Mr Coolcaum. setting off strong, O’Meara wasted no time but despite a series of turns, a clear in 29.10 saw him slot into fourth The result however added points to his leaderboard scores and places him in second place behind Floody going into the final round where points and a half are on offer.
The penultimate rider to take it on, Amy O’ Rourke delivered a foot perfect round with Shenick in a time of 30.74 for eventual sixth place.
GAIN/Alltech Autumn Grand Prix League Killossery Lodge Stud 31st November 2016 full result:
Sponsored by Killossery Lodge Stud
1st Francis Hughes’ Ballyknock Diamond and John Floody 0/0/28.53
2nd Diarmuid Hurley’s Future Storm and Tholm Keane 0/0/28.64
3rd Eileen Duggan’s Bronson De Reve and John Floody 0/0/28.90
4th Liam O Meara’s Mr Coolcaum and Liam O Meara 0/0/29.10
5th Helen Sheridan’s Curraghgraigue Jack Take Flight and Liam O Meara 0/0/29.57
6th Joanne Attley’s Shenick and Amy O Rourke 0/0/30.74