Harriet Nuttall has reversed her 2015 fortunes by winning the British Speed Derby with Silver Lift.
Harriet, who finished second in four major classes including the Speed Derby at last year’s Hickstead Derby meeting, beat the 2015 winner Guy Williams into second place by less than a second.
The 26-year-old had taken the lead with her first ride Highland Cruiser, finishing on 102.77 seconds, then bettered her own time to hold the two top spots, until Guy relegated Highland Cruiser to third place.
Guy had been aiming for a third consecutive win on Casper De Muze, and a record fifth Speed Derby victory.
“Harriet deserved to win it and I’m happy for her,” he said.
“If anyone’s going to beat me I’m glad it’s her – last year she should have won and she threw it away, and this year I did the same thing.”
In the Tom Hudson Derby Trophy, Billy Twomey won on nine-year-old gelding Thomas, beating Phillip Miller and Unbelievable Lady into second place.
Billy, who went first in the jump-off, finished in a time neither Phillip nor Anthony Condon, who had two horses in the jump-off, could match.
“The ground was at its best when I went, so maybe I had an advantage going first but I don’t think the conditions were too much of a factor because the jump-off ground felt great,” said Billy.
“I know Phillip’s horse is fast and careful so I wanted to put down a decent marker and then hopefully they’ll have to go for it and make some mistakes.”
Billy, who won the Hamburg Derby in May, will be among the favourites for the Equestrian.com Derby tomorrow, the feature class of this meeting.
He rides Diaghilev, who finished equal second in the 2015 Derby.
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Others to watch include Trevor Breen, who is aiming for a third consecutive win with either Adventure De Kannan or Loughnatousa WB.
Today’s big winner Harriet was equal second in the Derby last year with A Touch Imperious, so she will be aiming for a Hickstead double, although no one has won the Speed Derby and Hickstead Derby in the same year since Olympic gold medallist Ben Maher in 2005.