1.45m North Star Grand Prix \ Emer Bermingham

KILKENNY’s Susan Fitzpatrick started her Irish Breeders’ Classic weekend on a positive note as she clinched victory in the 1.45m North Star Classic Grand Prix last Friday in Barnadown. Riding her mother Sharon’s Keatingstown Skorphults Joker, she was one of just two double clears in the €10,000 class.

Delighted with the win, Fitzpatrick said: “It’s great to win here today and full credit to the orgainers who work hard here every year to add to the show. We are very lucky to have this great event on home soil with prize money that is worth staying at home for. The standard of horses here was great and it just shows how good the Irish breeding lines are. We are really showing the rewards of breeding incentives that were put in place.”

Keatingstown Skorphults Joker is a nine-year-old German-bred gelding. He was bred by Gestut Lewitz and is by Conthargos out of the Chacco Blue-sired Chaccy Anne. Along with a series of impressive results on the European circuit this season competing at CSI4* level, this combination also featured on the National Grand Prix circuit, claiming second place in the opening round at the Gain/Alltech National Grand Prix at The Meadows and a win at Portmore.

From the original starters, nine booked their place against the clock in a nine-way jump-off.

American rider Charlotte Jacobs also kept all the poles in place with her own Rincoola Milsean, but stopped the clock fractions of a second behind in 33.88 for second place. It was just a year ago that Jacobs competed in her first show on the gelding having taken over the ride from his former owner Jason Higgins. In July, the combination claimed victory in the Gain/Alltech Grand Prix at National Balmoral. Bred by the late Harold McGahern, the nine-year-old gelding is by Aldatus Z out of the Cruising-sired Rincoola Abu. Rincoola Milsean is a half-brother to European pony champion Rincoola Babog (by Luidam) and Rincoola Rua.

Dermott Lennon and MJM Pursuit were fastest of the four-faulters in 34.62 for third place. Owned by MJM (IOM) Holdings Limited, MJM Pursuit is a 13-year-old mare by Aldato (KWPN) out of the Limmerick mare Mountain Mist.

Francis Derwin and Killerisk Can Ya, also faulted once in 34.82 for eventual fourth place. Owned by Francis Derwin Snr and bred by Maura Counihan, Killerisk Can Ya is a 10-year-old gelding by Can Ya Makan out of the Mermus R-sired R Umonia 14.

Derwin didn’t go home too disappointed as he also accounted for fifth with Deep Pockets when he crossed the line carrying four faults in 35.50. Owned by Francis’ uncle Jim Derwin, and bred by Charles Pidgeon in Co Westmeath, Deep Pockets is a 13-year-old gelding by OBOS Quality 004.

Hannah O’Shea accounted for sixth with Ardnacashel Coovella when she had one one the ground in 36.37. Owned by Sandra Duffy, the 13-year-old mare is by Luidam out of the Harlequin Du Carel-sired Prominence.