Whitaker takes charge

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The Independent Online
John Whitaker had described his nine-year-old Irish-bred mount, Hunter's Level, as "fast and careful" before he proved both points here yesterday with a victory in one of the three vast and beautiful arenas of the Club Hipico la Silla, writes Genevieve Murphy from Monterrey, Mexico.

Whitaker had the distinction of defeating the Austrian speed merchant, Hugo Simon on E.T., when he won the Seguros Goodwill Trophy on the opening day of the Monterrey International Horse Show. Robert Smith filled third place on Mighty Blue, the only horse he is riding in this show, which has attracted virtually all of the top riders of the world.

Earlier, Hubert Bourdy jumped a whirlwind round to win the opening class, the Seguros Comercial America Welcome Stakes, by a comfortable margin of 3.95sec. The Frenchman defeated Alberto Harari from Mexico on Omnistrom Royal Moon, Damian Gardiner (the Californian-based Irishman who competed in the Atlanta Olympics) on Pinon Katja, and Michael Whitaker on Dinky Toy, who cleared the fences comfortably before showing his inexperience coming into the final obstacle, at which he nearly stopped.