History has been made at the Carpetright Derby today as Ireland’s Paul Beecher became the first person ever to go first in the class and go double clear.
Paul impressed everyone watching by putting in a foot-perfect clear round with the flashy chestnut gelding, Loughnatousa W B. “I was hoping for a clear in the jump-off because I knew I wouldn’t beat William for time,” he said. Watch our interview with him to find out why this horse is such a star and why Paul won’t be celebrating down the pub tonight.
It wasn’t until the 26th rider, William Funnell, entered the arena that the second clear round was achieved. On the relatively new ride Dorada, he showed everyone why he’s such a Derby legend, piloting the Clover Hill gelding around the course in the fastest time of the day of 159.48 seconds.
The two clears resulted in a jump-off in which William was undoubtedly the favourite. However, the enormous gate, which was the third fence of the jump-off, came down and he elected to retire. “I sat and watched last year and it was frustrating not riding,” said William. “Having won the Derby three times, this is actually only the second clear I’ve ever jumped. I just pushed a bit too hard in the jump-off coming round the corner and we ended up too close to the gate.”
There were six equal third places, all on four faults. They were Matthias Granzow (Antik 9), Steven Whitaker (Locarno 62), Nick Motmans (Aladdin St Ghyvan), Guy Williams (Skip Two Ramiro), David O’Brien (Mo Chroi) and Trevor Breen (Adventure De Jannan).
The water proved to be an influential factor in today's Derby, with many horses who were foot perfect everywhere else leaving their mark on the white clay. Included in these was Trevor Breen and Adventure De Kannan. Having told us during the course walk this morning that the best way to ride the water is to wait to see a stride further up the hill, his horse took off with plenty of room to spare and caused quite a splash.
The shock result of the afternoon was Guy Williams' elimination on last year's runner-up, Richi Rich III. She had a marish moment on top of the bank, spinning around and trying to go back the way she came. When Guy did eventually get her down, they were eliminated for a run-out at the rails.