Equestrianism: Funnell steers steady course to win Trial

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The Independent Online

William Funnell and Cortaflex Mondriaan completed two clear rounds to defeat Robert Smith on Jerry Maguire in a jump-off for yesterday's Derby Trial on the second day of the British Jumping Derby meeting. His success could promise much for the Derby proper tomorrow, but for the fact that in the 43 previous years only one rider, Ireland's Eddie Macken, achieved the double, back in 1979.

The two riders completed the only clear rounds, but neither was in a hurry to beat the clock in the timed jump-off. Funnell went first in a steady 62.87sec; Smith was even steadier in 67.67. Both horses looked fit and ready for tomorrow.

Jane Annett had a painful end to her bid for a first Derby victory when Culleen Diamond, fourth here in the big class two years ago, took off too early at the water, landed slap in the middle of it and came down. Annett, 34, left the arena by ambulance with a suspected fracture of her right leg.

Earlier, David McPherson achieved his second victory of the meeting on 15-year-old Santorin, who joined his Kent yard at the end of January.

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