Irish singing in the rain at Hickstead with Hat-Trick of wins ahead of Sunday’s Derby
- 25 June 2016, 17:37
IRISH horses and riders were in stunning form at the four-star Hickstead Derby meeting in the UK today, scoring a hat-trick of wins as torrential rain poured down on the Sussex arena.
Cork-born Billy Twomey (pictured) claimed the Tom Hudson Derby Trophy with the nine-year-old gelding Thomas after a four horse jump-off. Twomey’s double clear round in 43.77 seconds saw hip push Britain’s Phillip Miller into second with Unbelievable Lady, while Waterford’s Anthony Condon finished third with Balzac and also filled fourth spot aboard Aristio. Dubliner Darryl Walker also claimed fifth place for Ireland with the Irish Sport Horse Cushions.
In the morning’s opening Beethoven Championship for 7&8 year-old horses, Tipperary’s Shane Breen powered to victory with Slibermond after a seven horse jump-off.
Irish bred horses dominated the afternoon’s thrilling Hickstead Speed Derby, with Silver Lift (ISH) taking the winner’s trophy when ridden by Britain’s Harriet Nuttall, who also guided Highland Cruiser II (ISH) into third place.
The world famous Hickstead Derby takes place tomorrow Sunday, with Trevor Breen hoping to join an elite list of riders who have won the Derby three times in-a-row, while Billy Twomey will also be among the favourites having won the Hamburg Derby earlier this year. Breen scored his first Derby win in 2014 with the one-eyed wonder horse Adventure De Kannan, before adding a second victory in 2015 with The Irish Sport Horse, Loughnatousa WB.
Nick Skelton, Michael Whitaker and Peter Charles have won the Derby three years in-a-row, while Eddie Macken and the wonderful Boomerang, after whom the Hickstead Derby trophy is now named, remain the only combination to win on four occasions – from 1976 to 1979.
Silver Lift (ISH) – 2005 gelding by Easy Lift (TB) out of Faherine (ISH), by Silver Cloud (TB). Breeder: Kay Blackwell, Co. Westmeath. Owner: Mr Rupert Nuttall. Rider: Harriet Nuttall (GBR)
Highland Cruiser II (ISH) – 2001 gelding by Cougar (ISH) out of Leaving Cert (RID), by Flagmount Diamond (ID). Bred by Patrick J Cooke, Co. Leitrim. Owner: Mr Rupert Nuttall. Rider: Harriet Nuttall (GBR)