Dutch-born Hoekstra, who has been riding for Britain for several years, did not rush when jumping two clear rounds on the former racehorse and forfeited 3.25 of time faults. Had he lowered any of the fences when the top 10 jumped a second round, victory would have gone to the 22-year-old Irishman, Billy Twomey, the only non-British rider in the contest.
After two team trials (the first was at Windsor last month) Robert Smith has moved into the lead on the points table, having finished third on Senator Almare, yesterday. Michael Whitaker, now in joint second with Hoekstra, could go ahead today if he has a total of six faults or less in the two rounds of the Modena Nations Cup in Italy. Nick Skelton, John Whitaker and Di Lampard also have a chance of gaining the lead at the Italian show.
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