France’s Patrice Delaveau has won the Longines Masters of Hong Kong in a dramatic jump-off, taking the prestigious title by just 0.07secs.
It was a fiercely fought competition, with a total of US$382,800 up for grabs and a mere 0.15sec between the top three. Austria’s Max Kühner was second on Cielito Lindo 2, ahead of Daniel Deusser on Cornet D’Amour.
Daniel had the added pressure of the Grand Slam Indoor super bonus, which awards €2.25m to any rider that can win three consecutive Longines Grand Prix in the same season. The German rider won in Paris in December and a victory in Hong Kong would have put him one step closer to the massive bonus.
Daniel was ninth out of 12 in the jump-off and his fast clear looked like he might just do it. However, he was immediately followed into the arena by Patrice and Aquila HDC who shaved a fraction of a second off his time to race into the lead in a time of 37.81sec.
Max Kühner was next in and only just missed out on snatching the title from the Frenchman’s grasp.
“It was great today, and my horse was fantastic,” said Patrice. “I love it here in Hong Kong.”
Michael Whitaker narrowly missed out on a place on the podium, after Calisto Blue jumped a brilliant double clear. Their time of 42.89sec put them in fifth place behind Australia’s Jamie Kermond.
Patrice now has a chance to collect the Grand Slam Indoor bonus of €1m, if he can win the final leg of the current season of the Longines Masters Series in New York, and follow it up with a win in Paris at the start of the 2018-19 season.