• Catie Staszak

Setting the Morning Line in Vegas


Hunter Holloway and Pepita Con Spita won the 2021 Longines FEI Jumping World Cup™ Las Vegas. Photo by FEI/Andrew Ryback Photography


The old adage goes like this: What happens in Vegas, stays in Vegas. Much of that entails a trip to the casino or sports book.


So, what better place than just off the strip at the South Point Hotel & Casino to add a twist to some Prixview predictions for the Longines FEI Jumping World Cup™ Las Vegas?


In 'Sin City,' we've set a morning line ahead of the draw to help you make your selections for this week's fantasy matchups.


The Favorites


2-1 Conor Swail/Vital Chance de la Roque: It's an obvious choice here. World No. 5 Conor Swail (IRL) has won 3 of his last 4 World Cup starts, taking victories at Washington with Count Me In and in Sacramento with his Vegas mount, Vital Chance de la Roque.


In six World Cup starts over the last two seasons, Swail and Vital Chance ("Vinny") are averaging just 0.67 faults and a finish position of 3. They have been clear 83% of the time! In fact, their only rail in World Cup competition came last year in this very class. It took the final fence to keep this pair out of the jump-off; that incredibly careful vertical fell 11 times in the class—more than 50% more than any other fence in the competition.


7-2 Hunter Holloway/Pepita Con Spita: The defending Champions, Hunter Holloway (USA) and Pepita Con Spita have come a long way since their first World Cup victory last November in Vegas. That includes their first championship appearance in the Longines FEI Jumping World Cup™ Final in Leipzig (GER) and their first CSI5* Grand Prix victory at Saugerties.


This pair has not put up more than a rail in North American League (NAL) competition since their very first World Cup start last season at Washington (when it was held in Tryon, NC), and their most recent World Cup finish (3rd) in Lexington was impressive.


Watch the course for a plank vertical; it's accounted for 36.36% of their faults this year—more than any other jump type.


9-2 Lillie Keenan/Agana van het Gerendal Z: Keenan returns home to the U.S. for the first time since April. She brings forward just one horse to the international division with her eyes squarely toward the World Cup and punching a ticket to Omaha. You'd be wise to look back to the stallion's strong indoor results at CSI5*-W London-Excel, CSI5*-W Lyon and CSI5*-W Oslo last year, when he finished among the top 10 in 5 of 8 (62.5%) starts, including the 1.60m Grand Prix at London-Excel. They took the win in Vegas' CSI4*-W 1.50m "All In" Speed Stake.


In the Hunt


5-1 Natalie Dean/Chance Ste Hermelle: Look for this pair to rebound after having two uncharacteristic rails at Washington in CSI5*-W competition. Take that result out, and they've never had a rail in the first round of World Cup competition. For a big mare, Chance Ste Hermelle has the blood and adjustability that allows her to excel indoors, and a fewer percentage of her faults in 2022 have come inside rather than outside.


6-1 Daniel Coyle/Ivory TCS: Coyle is fresh off a World Cup win in Toronto (CAN) with Legacy, but in Vegas, he will be paired with 9-year-old Ivory TCS. This mare impressed in her World Cup and 1.60m debut with just one down over a big track in Lexington. The pair took an early week win in Vegas in the CSI4*-W "Lucky Sevens" Two-Phase 1.45m.


7-1 Rodrigo Pessoa/Quick Step: Pessoa jumped clear and finished sixth in Lexington with this exciting 9-year-old—the first international event of the partnership. There's not a lot of data on this pair (3 starts), but there's a lot of promise.


8-1 Nayel Nassar/El Conde: Nassar will make his third World Cup start of the season on a third horse, a nod to the strength of his string. At 1.50m, El Conde is a standout with a clear round rate of 62.50% in 2022, but the 11-year-old gelding has made just two starts at 1.60m this year, averaging 5.33 faults. He is trending upward.


8-1 James Arkins/Eurostar 1: This is top combination with Championship experience; they also jumped double-clear for Australia in the Longines FEI Jumping Nations Cup™ of Canada earlier this year. Indoors will be a new experience at this level, with their last World Cup experiences coming at the CSI1*-W level in Queensland.


Don't Count Out a Clear From:


15-1 Misti Cassar/Mylord Cornet: A veteran pair with championship experience, Misti Cassar and Mylord Cornet know how to jump clear. Ride-ability will be key; this scopey horse can get quite strong.


16-1 Sophia Siegel/A-Girl: The 20-year-old finished second in Sacramento and is on the rise, but expect the Vegas track to be tougher than in It was in the NAL's opening leg.


17-1 Elisa Broz/Kardenta van't Meerhof : Eighteen-year-old Broz finished 4th in Sacramento, her World Cup debut.