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Thrills and Spills: Géza Triumphs in 102nd Hungarian Derby

Hungary Today 2024.07.08.

Between July 5 and 7, the Szerencsejáték Zrt. Hungarian Derby and Fashion Festival took place, with the main event being the 102nd Hungarian Derby on Sunday, following greyhound and harness races on Friday and Saturday.

Despite the sweltering heat, huge number of spectators filled the stands of the racecourse. Unlike last year’s Derby, when Italian star jockey Frankie Dettori won one of the bigger races riding Agreement, this year’s event featured the best known local riders and notable foreigners.

Photo: Facebook / Kincsem Park-Nemzeti Lóverseny

The first four races offered little excitement, but by the fifth race, the crowd’s growing anticipation was palpable.

In this 1,200m sprint, all-female amateur riders engaged in an intense battle.

In an unforeseen finish, race favorite Galia Speed and the unexpected Aduász (number 13) crossed the finish line in first and second place, respectively.

Galia Speed. Photo: Facebook / Kincsem Park-Nemzeti Lóverseny

The sixth race saw an unexpected twist when Fabulous’ rider, Csenge Suták, fell off her horse about halfway through the 2,400m distance. Fortunately, both horse and rider escaped without major injuries.

Ms. Suták, despite being injured, competed in another race later that day and won a nice victory with Aleidis, much to the crowd’s delight.

The 102nd Hungarian Derby, featuring 3-year-old thoroughbreds over a 2,400m distance, began shortly after 5:30 pm. Flying Aquangel and Géza (ridden by one of the country’s best jockeys, Stanislav Georgiev) were the two most promising contenders. The atmosphere was tense as Géza remained at the back of the field until nearly the halfway mark. In the last 1,000 meters, he made a tremendous overtake, engaging in a fierce battle with Tunézia in the final stretch.

Géza finishing first at the 102nd Hungarian Derby. Photo: Facebook / Kincsem Park-Nemzeti Lóverseny

Géza emerged victorious, winning the 102nd Hungarian Derby by a narrow margin.

The Minister of Defense congratulating Stanislav Georgiev, the Derby winner Géza’s jockey. Photo: Facebook / Szalay-Bobrovniczky Kristóf

Horse and rider were cheered enthusiastically by the audience, and Kristóf Szalay-Bobrovniczky, Minister of Defense, presented the laurel wreath to the winner.

The final race of the day was an unusual 3,200m steeplechase featuring a strong field. Avoiding Water, a well known horse among Kincsem Park visitors, took to the track with his usual number 2 and blue and yellow colors.

He battled with his recent rival Subacio throughout the distance, confidently leading by up to 10 lengths in the final 1,000-1,200 meters.

Avoiding Water finishing his race with 4 body-lengths. Photo: Facebook / Kincsem Park-Nemzeti Lóverseny

Although Subacio attempted to close the gap, the French import, Avoiding Water won the race by 4 body lengths.

Between races, a makeshift catwalk in the grandstands showcased haute couture derby dresses by local designers. Additionally, riders from the Count Ferenc Nádasdy Hussar Class of the Hungarian Defense Forces provided a riding demonstration. While the main event of the Hungarian horse racing scene has come to an end, the venue will host another outstanding series of races this year: the Austrian Donau Derby on August 4.

Austrian Donau Derby to Be Held in Budapest This Summer
Austrian Donau Derby to Be Held in Budapest This Summer

The Austrian Derby has been held every year for the past 150 years.Continue reading

Hungary Today; Featured Image: Facebook / Kincsem Park-Nemzeti Lóverseny

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