Freddy Tylicki: narrowly denied in a race he is eager to winPICTURE: John Grossick
Tylicki denied as Isfahan lands German Derby
IN WHAT must rank as one of the most exciting finishes ever witnessed in a German Derby, Isfahan held on by a head and a neck from the fast-finishing Savoir Vivre - the mount of Freddy Tylicki - and Dschingis Secret in the 147th running of the Classic at Hamburg.
With 100 yards to go the principals were almost in a line, but Isfahan, ridden by Dario Vargiu, kept pulling out more to triumph in a three-way photo for the €650,000 Group 1 contest.
The Aidan O'Brien-trained Landofhopeandglory was bitterly disappointing and trailled in 18th of the 19 runners.
Vargiu said: "I wanted to come as late as possible and I probably hit the front too soon, but still it's a great result."
It was particularly exciting for trainer Andreas Wohler as he and his wife bred the winner, who was bought as a yearling for €35,000 at the BBAG yearling sale by Holger Faust, racing manager to owners Darius Racing.
The heavy ground - "like glue" in the words of several jockeys - caused problems for many of the runners, and among those who palpably failed to cope were Landofhopeandglory, who dropped right out in the straight under Ryan Moore, and 2-1 favourite Boscaccio, whose trainer Christian Sprengel said: "I knew right after the start that he had no chance."
For Wohler, who also trained fourth-placed Wai Key Star, it was a fourth Derby success, and the most satisfying, while it was also the third Sunday running on which he had won Germany's big weekend race.
Wohler said: "Isfahan doesn't really need ground as heavy as this, but he certainly needs it soft, and his defeat in the Italian Derby can be excused, where it was much too fast."
'It almost worked'
It was a narrow miss for Tylicki, who nevertheless was delighted with Savoir Vivre, who he said ran a "super race".
Tylicki said: "It's a shame we didn't win as this is the one race I really want, my father having won it twice, but he ran a super race. We left the blinkers off this time and it almost worked."
The stewards however were less than impressed with his whirlwind finish and gave him a four-day suspension and fine for overuse of the whip.