(C) ESI Photography
Karl Cook and Jonkheer Z make a clean sweep at the $100,000 Sunshine Series Grand Prix.
Karl Cook, who captured the $75,000 Sunshine Series Grand Prix win during National Sunshine Series Week I, was back in the spotlight Saturday evening to claim his $100,000 Sunshine Series World Cup Qualifier Grand Prix victory. A packed grandstand watched on as Cook rode with determination and patience, taking risky inside turns that would pay off in the end.
Competition heated up early in Round 1 and the air was alive, becoming more vibrant with every clear round. Forty-four competitors challenged the course which proved to be trying for many with only eight moving on to the jump off.
The jump-off heated up as Jack Towell and Silence cleared the course in 36.96 with six competitors still awaiting their turn. Cook, piloting Jonkheer Z, was next in the ring, besting Towell by a fraction of a second and clocking in with a 36.68. Kristen Coe, aboard Czardas 3D, was third to go clear, and their 37.35 finish secured a top-four finish after Darragh Kenny and Imothep chased Cook for the blue. The pair’s lively 36.84 second-place finish was noticed by all, including his competition.
“I think my greatest concerns in the jump-off were Charlie Jayne and Darragh Kenny,” said Cook, after his win. “A class like this brings nerves and you know they will set a bigger course. It always feels great to be competing with riders of this caliber, let alone win.”
The course, designed by Alan Wade of Ireland, featured a sizeable triple bar and tight turn to the left by the in-gate which was a recipe for success according to Cook.
“The course was really appropriate. Maybe the time was a little soft but in the end it was perfect.” Cook continued, “The footing was super. We could go fast and take quick turns and did not slide at all.”
$100,000 Sunshine Series Grand Prix
1 Jonkheer Z/Karl Cook 33,000 0/0/36.68
2 Imothep/Darragh Kenny 20,000 0/0/36.84
3 Silence/Jack Hardin Towell 15,000 0/0/36.96
4 CZardas 30/Kirsten Coe 10,000 0/0/37.35
5 Zamiro/Susan Artes 6,000 0/0/37.27
6 Lyonell/Cara Raether 4,500 0/4/38.9
7 Valeska/Charlie Jayne 3,000 0/8/38.73
8 Quilebo Du Tillard/Enrique Gonzalez 2,500 0/8/38.78
9 Camerino/Paul Rohrbach 2,000 1 – –
10 Farfelu de la Pomme/Jos Verlooy 2,000 4 – –
11 Regina Z/Harrie Smolders 1,000 4 – –
12 Cos I Can/Reed Kessler 1,000 4 – –
Source: HITS, Inc.