Billy Twomey and Diaghilev dashed to victory in tonight’s Grand Prix at Liverpool International Horse Show, repeating their success of a year ago, while fellow Irish rider Michael Duffy claimed third place on Belcanto Z.

Twomey ended British hopes of a home victory when his stunning round outpaced William Whitaker on Utamaro D Ecaussines by almost one and a half seconds.

This came after Duffy had shot to the top as second to go in the ten-way jump-off, with a clear round in 40.55, almost two seconds quicker that Great Britain’s Robert Smith on Bavi.

Duffy’s lead survived the next four riders, none of whom managed to stay clear, until Whitaker delighted the home crowd when getting home intact in 38.79.

No sooner had the cheers died down than next-in Twomey was off in pursuit, and the Irish rider pulled off an amazing round to come home clear and stop the clock at 37.32.

Neither of the remaining two riders threatened Twomey’s lead, with last to go Paul Kennedy of Ireland earning seventh place for his five-fault jump-off round on Cartown Danger Mouse.

Mike Dunne