Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

Trial Winner Murka's Vindicat Tipped for Future Hickstead Derby Glory; Equestrian

Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

Trial Winner Murka's Vindicat Tipped for Future Hickstead Derby Glory; Equestrian

Article excerpt

BRITISH Nations Cup star Peter Charles believes he has discovered a future Hickstead Derby winner in Murka's Vindicat.

The nine-year-old did little to dispute his rider's theory after landing the Bunn Leisure Derby Trial in stylish fashion. Charles, 51, last won the trial 10 years ago, and on that occasion he followed it up by capturing the prestigious Derby title - British showjumping's equivalent of the Grand National - two days later.

That will not be the case this year, as Charles feels Vindicat lacks sufficient experience to face the rigours of a punishing Derby examination. Vindicat now heads to next month's Falsterbo Nations Cup show in Sweden, but he will leave Hickstead after putting down a high-class marker. Only five combinations among a 39-strong field went clear - Charles, reigning Derby champion Guy Williams (Softrack Skip Two Ramiro), Shane Breen (Mullaaghdrin Gold Rain), Peter Murphy (Renkum Off-Centre) and Mark Bunting (Beach Boy).

Charles' jump-off time of 59.75 seconds edged Williams into second spot, with Breen having to settle for third after going quickest but having one fence down.

He said: "Vindicat was originally owned by Lord and Lady Harris, but they decided to relinquish their halfshare and Olga White (Charles' main owner) bought it.

"He is a very nice horse to ride. He jumped clear in a grand prix in France last week, and he is coming on - he has a big future.

"He is a year away from the Derby. Another year behind him will benefit him and he is a Derby winner of the future for sure."

Charles collected the pounds 6,500 winner's purse, but there was also plenty to enthuse British number one Williams ahead of his Derby defence with Skip Two Ramiro on Sunday.

"I will be trying my best," said Williams, whose meticulous Derby preparations last year included him building a replica of the fiendishlydifficult Devils Dyke at his Kent yard to familiarise Skip Two Ramiro with that specific challenge. …

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