Once a Derby horse always a Derby horse – that is true for most horses, who have had a clear round in Klein-Flottbek. And Billy Twomey’s Diaghilev is one of these horses. Last year the Irish rider and the De Vangelis offspring won the Derby. And the horse has come to like the Derby fences that is sure. This year they won the first qualification. However, Twomey says: “Diaghilev is like a box of chocolates. You never know what’s in there or how his mood will be. Sometimes he can be quite over the top. It was good to have such a start but Sunday is the day that counts.”
Second place went to Dutch Johnny Pals with Urjul van Generhese, a 13-year-old sBs gelding. The pair made their first Derby experiences in Eindhoven. However, the Derby there is significantly smallet. But Urjul also seems to like the natural fences. Therefore they went on to win the Derby of Lummen twice, then La Baule and Falsterbo followed and now Hamburg. But Pals is impressed by the course of the final competition: “Are the fences really even higher on Sunday?”
Another rider to take on the challenge Derby time and again is German Mario Stevens. He and 11-year-old mare El Bandiata B finished the qualification in third place. “She was relaxed and competent,” the rider from Molbergen said, content with his performance. Last year the pair won the second qualification. This year the second qualification will take place on Friday at 2:45 pm.