–Cool Mountain has 8 show jumping penalties in his last 4 advanced level events, but none in his last 2. William looked relaxed at the jog today, and he is no stranger to high pressure situations.
-Sitting 2.0 points back from Cool Mountain, Tipperary Liadhnan has 58 show jumping penalties in his last 4 advanced rounds. “Paddy” has the physical skills to jump clean, but the question is all about whether he and Kim can find their old SJ form from Rolex 2008, when they had just 1 rail. Only one rail for Paddy will get him on one of the summer lists.
–Courageous Comet is just 2.4 points back from Cool Mountain. Comet has 1 rail in each of his last 3 advanced events, and 2 rails in each of his last two four-stars.
–The Foreman sits just over a rail behind William and Cool Mountain. “Chip” has 2 rails in his last 5 advanced level events, and one rail in his last two four-stars. Chip jumps unconventionally, but he also jumps unconventionally high.
-Rounding out the top 5, Woodburn is also just a rail back. He has 20 show jumping penalties in his last 6 advanced rounds. The USET will be paying close attention to Woodburn’s round today as they work to figure out which of Phillip’s horses is the best.
In the past three years, no horse outside of the top 3 after XC has won Rolex.
2007: Ben Along Time moved up from 3rd (one rail back) to 1st with just 1 time penalty.
2008: Connaught moved from 2nd (within a rail) to 1st with a double clear.
2009: Headley Britannia maintained her lead with a double clear.
That said, we all remember Andrew Hoy’s surge from around 7th to the win in 2006.
This is clearly shaping up to be William’s competition to lose. The only question is Cool Mountain’s The crowd (and I) will be rooting hard for Becky and Kim to have quality rides.
Not to jinx it, but 4 of my top 5 (Chip, Ashdale, William, Woodburn, and Mandiba) are in the top 6 going into show jumping. Since I’m wrong nearly 100% of the time, it can only be more EN Karma hard at work.
As an update on Leyland, word in the barns is that the Team gave him a bye, which just basically means that under present circumstances they didn’t feel it was necessary for him to run.