The Nottinghamshire-based Cork rider teamed up with Joe Flynn’s 11-year-old Irish-bred stallion Ardcolum Duke for a round that put him almost a second faster than runner-up, Belgian Gregory Wathelet and Egano van het Slogenhof.
Mayo rider Cameron Hanley also produced a clear with the bay gelding Newton du Haut Bois to place fourth.
Last night’s feature jump-off class saw Antrim’s Jessica Kürten finish fifth with the chestnut stallion Arezzo VDL.
In Florida, Darragh Kenny followed up his second place in Sunday’s $125,000 Trump Invitational with victory yesterday on day three of the 12-week $8.2m Winter Equestrian Festival. The Offaly rider overcame 81 rivals to win a 1.40mtr jump-off class with Windbreaker.
Andrew Bourns was pipped in Thursday’s $25,000 feature class with Casper, the Galway rider giving way to American Leslie Howard on Utah.