Charles' Corrada decision pays off

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The Independent Online

Peter Charles collected a prize of £10,000, plus a Peugeot car worth £16,000, when he won the Hickstead Derby on Corrada, a 12-year-old mare that he had not originally intended to ride in yesterday's marathon.

The Irish rider changed his mind after the mare jumped two excellent clear rounds on Saturday, though he retained misgivings as to whether he would be able to coax her down the precipitous Derby Bank. The big grey did hesitate briefly on the brink but made her descent and completed a clear round. However, having finished two seconds over the time-limit, Corrada collected two time faults.

Charles then had an anxious 90-minute wait to see whether anybody would produce a quicker clear round, identifying Kevin Babington, a fellow member of the victorious Irish team at the European Championships, as his main rival. "I persuaded him to go in the Derby, so I thought I'd shot myself in the foot," Charles said.

But Babington, last to go on Carling King, was out before he had begun – having had the misfortune of starting before the hooter sounded.

Another Irishman, Billy Twomey, on Give Me Remus, shared second place with Britain's 21-year-old Nicky Boulter on Magna Carta II, who was her mount when she rode in the winning team at this year's Young Riders European Championships. Both had a single error over the course of 16 fences. John and Michael Whitaker were among the quartet who shared fourth place.