Whitaker tally growing

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The Independent Online

John Whitaker's first victory of the 2001 Horse of the Year Show was marred only by the absence of his father, Donald, who was in Huddersfield Royal Infirmary with pneumonia.

John's win yesterday on Hunter's Level represented the third Whitaker victory of the week, after the successes of his 12-year-old nephew, William, on Tuesday and his son, Robert, on Wednesday. "I only declared Hunter's Level because I thought this was a speed class," John said, after winning the Horseware Ireland Rambo Cup. Though it turned out to be a jump-off class, the Yorkshireman still finished 0.94sec ahead of John Popely and Luidam, with Liz Edgar third on Debutante.

Michael Whitaker would also have won had he not had a fence down with First Samuel in the Dengie Fibrefeeds Stakes, while achieving a time 0.59sec faster than Robert Smith's winning round on Kalusha.