Canada's Lamaze wins again on Fine Lady 5; still must choose mount for Olympics | iNFOnews

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Canada's Lamaze wins again on Fine Lady 5; still must choose mount for Olympics

May 14, 2016 - 2:26 PM

LA BAULE, France - Canada's Eric Lamaze continued his winning form, scoring a second victory riding Fine Lady 5 on Saturday at the Prix S.C.H. La Baule.

The win comes after the pair's victory in Thursday's Prix FFE, where Lamaze bested a starting field of 64 entries. Riding Fine Lady 5, Lamaze stopped the clock in 68.20 seconds to take the win over Gudrun Patteet of Belgium with a time of 69.90 seconds riding Sea Coast Atlantic.

Patteet was once again Lamaze's closest competition Saturday. Of the 45 starters, eight posted a clear round over the track to advance to the jump-off. Lamaze and Fine Lady 5 nipped around the shortened jump-off course in a time of 33.85. Patteet, again aboard Sea Coast Atlantic, followed Lamaze in the jump-off order. While the Belgian rider opted to leave a stride out to the final fence, a wide oxer set in front of the ingate, her time of 34.94 seconds left Lamaze well ahead for the win.

"It was a nice jump-off, you could leave strides out or take risks in the rollbacks," said Lamaze. "Fine Lady is very good at turning back, so my strategy was to do one less stride between fences one and two, and then stay tight on the roll backs. Coming home, there was a double combination and then you could do seven or eight strides to the final oxer, and I did the eight strides.

"Even doing that, she was still fast enough to win."

With the 2016 Olympic Games on the horizon, the Montreal native has a difficult choice to make. With several top mounts in his stable, the next two months will determine the 2008 Olympic champion's choice for Rio.

"Fine Lady is feeling very good," said Lamaze of the 13-year-old Hanoverian mare. "She goes from here to Rome where I will ride her in either the Nations Cup or the Grand Prix. Then I will use her very lightly in Calgary, and bring her back for Aachen and see if she's the one for the Olympics. We have a nice program for her, and she's continuing to jump well."

Lamaze's other Olympic hopefuls include his 2015 Pan American Games team gold medal partner, Coco Bongo, and Check Picobello Z, who will compete with Lamaze next week in the Global Champions Tour in Madrid.

News from © The Canadian Press, 2016
The Canadian Press

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