In the 7th episode of the LGCT Grand Prix Analysis on GCTV, Frederik De Backer zooms in on the battle that Daniel Deusser and Spencer Smith fought in the jump-off of the Cannes Grand Prix.
Apparently it was again a decision to ride one stride more or less in the second last line that proved key.
“Smith started his jump-off run on a very tight angle to the first vertical and with that he jumped into the line to the oxer, leaving out a stride compared to Deusser. It got him a little wide for the next turn but that demanded rather more pace than tightness, so the American didn’t suffer from that wider curve” says De Backer.
The next 2 lines didn’t have any option keeping both rivals on 7 from the double to the LGCT vertical and the same 7 strides to the narrow upright that was intensively discussed in the first part of the LGCT Grand Prix Analysis.
“It left the riders with not other options than to stick to the 7 and 7 and that actually played into the hand of Deusser. The faster moving horse in Bingo made up some ground on Theodore of Smith who decided to make a crucial call in the race against the clock, down the second last line.”
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In the first round of the Grand Prix the line from 10 to 11 caused a lot of faults and even had an impact on the Championship standings.
Pieter Devos was faulted on the narrow vertical late on course and with Ahlmann having sped up after his early fault at 2, the Belgian was not fast enough to keep the German behind him on the ranking. The delicate upright was followed by 6 strides that needed a lot of outside bend, but not many got the curve right, hitting the front rail.
Andreas Schou however choose for a straight line and rode 5 down the line, a distance that many had walked, but had not tried.
“Smith rode one stride less than Deusser to the second last fence but instead of going straight or riding an outside bend, he nearly inverted the line. He came to the narrow vertical on such an angle that he sat much to the inside of the line. The 5 steps did fit but he jumped the oxer to the right, where Deusser was a bit more experienced and jumped to the left. On Bingo he held the normal 6, curved his approach and jumped into the last line, getting a fast, tighter landing than Smith.”
In the landing Smith had 2 strides in hand on Deusser but the next turn to the last fence was much tighter than the first big turn that followed the first line. That made De Backer look back at the jump-off in St. Tropez, just 2 weeks ago, where Malin Baryard-Johnson also trailed, going wide ahead of the final turn. That wide approach gave her the edge over Smolders to ride a step less to the last and win the Grand Prix.
“Smith flew wide, Deusser sat tight and started galloping down the line sooner than the Belgian based American. The counter indicated 2 strides less in the last line for the German and a 0.28 win over Smith. And it makes you think about leaving out strides ahead of tight rollbacks. Spencer Smith looses the win in Cannes to due to sue an approach and also Michael Pender made that decision in Hamburg causing him to fly wide. But it takes nothing away from that hawk-eyed approach of Deusser to the last. He caught the distance 70 or 80m out and never let go.”
Find out all the details of the Longines Global Champions Tour Grand Prix of Cannes in a new edition of the LGCT Grand Prix Analysis on a GCTV Pro Pass.