EQUESTRIANISM: Ximenez gets Airborne to take Stakes

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Luis Ximenez, a 27-year-old Mexican rider, was the surprise winner of yesterday's International Stakes on the opening day of the ENZA Nations' Cup meeting, writes Genevieve Murphy from Hickstead.

Ximenez won on nine-year-old Airborne Montecillo, defeating Chris Kappler of the United States on Zanzibar. Both horses are trained by George Morris, chef d'equipe of the American team.

Despite riding cautiously, Michael Whitaker's round on Everest Elton was a huge disappointment. Elton stopped at a wall and again at a ditch to finish with 17.25 faults. He has never refused before and Whitaker is now in two minds as to whether he will jump in today's Grand Prix.

ENZA NATIONS' CUP (Hickstead): International Stakes: 1 Airborne Montecillo (L Ximenez, Mex) clear, 73.45sec; 2 Zanzibar (C Kappler, US) clear, 76.01; 3 Heather Blaze (R Splaine, Irl) clear, 81.39. Speed Stakes: 1 Omnibus (M Ward, US) 66.54; 2 Orient de Frebourg (P Delaveau, Fr) 66.72; 3 Pondstretcher (K Shore, GB) 66.88. Young Riders: 1 Deep Heat (L Whitaker) clear, 56.86; 2 Master Miniott (S Rust) clear, 63.34; 3 Hertzon Jaegar (B Dunning) 4 faults, 56.77.