Abdeslam Bennani Smires shines in the opening Cannes class.

(Photo: Stefano Grasso/LGCT)

 

By Global Champions Tour

The opening CSI5* class of the glittering Longines Global Champions Tour of Cannes was won by Abdeslam Bennani Smires of Morocco and Mowgli Des Plains, who led the 53-strong class from 6th to go in the draw. Smires attacked the Uliano Vezzani course from beginning to end setting a lightening time of 28.98s in the beautiful Riviera arena.

Towards the end of the class Jane Richard Philips (SUI), on fantastic form after a win in Shanghai last week, came closest to the winner’s time taking 2nd place with Upanisad di San Patrignano in a time of 29.33s. Third went to Juan-Carlos Garcia (ITA) and Blue Boy V. Berkenbroeck who stopped the clock at 30.83s.

Some the hot favourites for Saturday’s Grand Prix also put in tantalising performances to join the ranks of the 20 double clears – Edwina Top-Alexander (AUS) took 4th with her new mount Questina, Constant van Paesschen (BEL) and Citizenguard Taalex landed 7th and Rolf-Göran Bengtsson (SWE) and Unita ASK were 9th.

With Saturday’s Grand Prix on the horizon it is hard to discount the top two in the Championship Ranking – Edwina-Tops-Alexander and Ludger Beerbaum (GER) – from a podium finish. With so many big names in the mix, the competition will only get more fierce as the show progresses.

Watch the LGCT Grand Prix of Cannes live this Saturday from 6.45pm local time on GCT TV, ClassHorseTV and Equidia Life, on beINSports 3 from 8.45pm and on Eurosport from 9.45pm local time.