Irish rider Trevor Breen secured a back-to-back win in today’s Derby at Hickstead. Breen was the only competitor to have not just one but two former winning rides to compete, and he was the firm favorite to retain the title he won for the first time twelve months previously. In 2014 he took home the famous Boomerang Trophy for the first time when riding the ‘one-eyed wonder horse’ Adventure De Kannan (Kannan x Ladalco) , but this year it was Trevor’s first ride, Loughnatousa WB (by Spring Elegance VII), who netted the only clear round to take the title.
‘WB’, like Trevor, already has a Derby title to his name. He became the first horse to win the Derby under two different riders – the chestnut gelding having first won in 2012 under his previous rider, Paul Beecher. That year the horse won from the unfavorably early draw of first to go, and this year with Trevor he once again set the standard early on, jumping clear from a draw of seventh out of a field of 37 starters.
Britain’s William Whitaker became the first of five riders to finish on four faults with Glenavadra Brilliant (Brilliant Lad x Powerswoos Purple); and he was followed by Irish Olympian Billy Twomey and his Hickstead Derby first-timer Diaghilev (Vangelis S x Handstreich), who only knocked the first part of the Devil’s Dyke. As the class moved towards the business end, Steven Franks became the third of the four-faulters on Carlow Cruiser (Cruising x Duca di Busted), a horse who has had a number of near-misses when it comes to winning the Hickstead Derby.
Trevor Breen was 33rd to go with his second ride, Adventure De Kannan, but hopes of both his rides going clear were dashed when ‘Addy’ ended up on eight faults. Nigel Coupe got four faults, so only the 2013 winner Phillip Miller and Harriet Nuttall could push it to a jump-off. But eight faults for Miller and four for NUuttall meant the title was Trevor Breen’s for the second year in a row.
“I knew I had a good chance because I was riding two former winners, but you never know and it’s such a tough course,” said Trevor. “It’s extremely difficult to win, and you need a lot to go right - and luckily everything did. I felt WB I was running out of petrol a bit towards the end so I was pleased I didn’t have to jump-off.”
Breen also gave credit to his fellow Irishman Paul Beecher, who rode Loughnatousa WB to victory in the 2012 Derby. “Paul produced him his whole life so he has to take a lot of the credit - I’ve only ridden him for a year. It’s great for WB’s owner Patricia Brown, who is a huge supporter, and for Bernice Cuthbert who looks after Patricia’s horses.”
Harriet Nuttall was unlucky to have the first part of the Devil’s Dyke down to finish equal second with the other four-faulters. She has finished in runner-up spot in four major classes this week, but remained upbeat despite not taking home the winner’s cheque. “I’ve had the best weekend of my life. A Touch Imperious is just unbelievable, he has made my career, and I’d have paid good money to be second here,” she says. “I still think he has it in him to win. We’ll be back.”
Nigel Coupe, who also shared second prize along with Harriet, William Whitaker, Billy Twomey and Steven Franks, added: “As a sportsman you want to win and you want to see your name up on that board so it’s disappointing to have the four faults, but you’d definitely take that result.”
Source: Press release from Hickstead.
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