Mike Kawai opened the second day of the Longines Global Champions Tour of Ramatuelle, St Tropez, with a spectacular win in the McLaren Monaco Prix on his mare Star. Taking second place by just over one and half seconds was Michael G Duffy on My Way B. & V. and the last spot on the podium was picked up by Dutch talent Johnny Pals and Cukuta.
Talking about his first 5* win a beaming Mike Kawai said: "I am so happy, I have worked so hard over the last few year since I came to Europe. Star has everything you want in a horse, she tried really hard for me today."
Gregory Bodo set a fast and flowing 1.45m speed class with a tough penultimate line that caught out a fair few of the top international combinations today. There were only 7 clear rounds as the best of the best race against the time in the hope of landing at the top of the leaderboad.
First, to go Cindy van der Straten rode a great round but was an unlucky pole meant she finished with a total of 4 and out of the placings today.
The first clear round was produced by speed demon Agustin Covarrubias who took all the strides out where possible to stop the clock in 66.63 seconds on his 14 year old Larbraker. However, his time at the top didn't last long as young Irishman Michael Duffy flew into the lead on his bay stallion Charco. The pair took the tightest turn back to the final line of the whole class and set an impressive time to beat of 65.66 sec.
The pace was challenged when Michael G Duffy then got faster and faster as he steered his 9 year old My Way B. & V. 63.15 seconds. They couldn't have cut the corners any tighter but had to settle for second place overall. It then looked like Johnny Pals was set to take over as the new leader but he couldn't quite match the pace of the young talent and slotted into 3rd overall on Cukuta.
Yesterday's winner of the first class of LGCT Ramatuelle, St Tropez Julien Epaillard is known for his speed class wins but today it wasn't meant to be as he had two down and was straight out of contention today.
So it was a win for the only combination to leave all the fences up in sub 62 seconds Mike Kawai and Star.
The final class of the day, the Prix PremiuMares will take place at 16:25 local time - tune in via GCTV to watch the action with expert commentary.