The going was tough early on in the Tamworth World Cup Qualifier. After the first five combinations on course, three had collected 14 faults or more and one had been eliminated after two refusals at the first fence. Visitors from New Zealand, Phillip Steiner and Cassina Dior who had been the first combination on course, were looking well placed after completing their round with just a single rail down.
It wasn’t until the tenth combination out, Sam Overton and Oaks Cassanova, who went into the evening sitting in third place in the Series, that we saw our first clear round, proving that the course could be conquered.
By the end of the first round, there had been two other clear rounds. Queensland Jumping legend Clem Smith and Oaks Conjuror were the fastest clear in 75.59 seconds, along with Tom McDermott and Elegance De La Charmille in 75.79 seconds, both about 1.5 seconds faster than Overton and Oaks Cassanova.
In Round Two the first out of three clears from Round 1 were Sam Overton and Oaks Cassavova. They set the stadium alight with a brilliant clear round in just 47.19 seconds to snatch the lead. It was going to take another double clear performance to steal the win away from them.
The first combination to try were Tom McDermott and Elegance De La Charmille. As usual Tom rode with urgency. Their time of 45.77 seconds was fast enough, however, three rails down meant that tonight was not going to be there night and in the end, they had to settle for ninth place.
So, it all came down to the last combination of Clem Smith and Oaks Conjuror. They needed a clear round and it had to be fast for them to win and they were both. As they cleared the last fence, we all knew that they had achieved the clear part of the deal and while it was a fast round, unfortunately for them, a time of 48.89 seconds was not fast enough. The win and maximum World Cup points went to Queenslanders Sam Overton and Oaks Cassanova.