Three horses almost equal at the finish, hard to tell apart with the naked eye - a derby can hardly be decided more excitingly.

The 153rd edition of the most important horse race in Germany, which was watched by 12,500 spectators in Hamburg on Sunday, offered a lot of drama, but also had a stale aftertaste.

But more on that later.

At the finish, the biggest outsider victory in 40 years seemed perfect, because the 48:1 chance of Schwarzer Peter flew in from the outside.

"I've seen us before.

Bitter,” said Andreas Helfenbein, who at 54 was the oldest jockey in the 20-year-old field.

In the end, second place was narrowly beaten, just ahead of the favorite So Moonstruck, who attacked in the middle, but one - as they say in technical jargon - "short head" behind the co-favorite Sammarco.

The stallion had his nostrils forward at the right moment after 2400 meters.

The three-year-old is being prepared in Cologne by Peter Schiergen, who has already achieved more than 1,000 victories both as a jockey and as a trainer.

As a coach, it was his sixth derby win.

“It was only the fourth race for Sammarco.

He's improved from start to start and is a great fighter,” he said.

The breeder and owner is the Munich banker's son Helmut von Finck, who runs the Park Wiedingen stud farm in Soltau.

After several placings, it was his first derby win for which, including the breeder's bonus, there was more than half a million euros.

The rider Bauyrzhan Murzabayev, who grew up in Kazakhstan, celebrated a double premiere.

In the fifth attempt he managed the first derby success and thus the first Group I victory.

"A dream has come true for me because the Derby is a very special race," said the 29-year-old, who has been Jockey Champion in Germany for the past three years and is leading the rankings again this season.

Used the whip too often

However, he now has to rest 17 days because Murzabayev used the whip seven times instead of the allowed five times.

He also loses half of his profit percentage (9750 euros).

Runner-up Helfenbein also broke the rules and hit one too many.

The result is a 14-day riding ban and a loss of 3,250 euros.

Unfortunately, this is very reminiscent of the derby in 2016, when the two first-place finishers were also illegally driven to the finish line.

The owner of the then third-placed Dschinghis Secret sued in vain for their disqualification through several instances.

Spicy note on the side: Dschingis Secret is bred by the Park Wiedingen stud farm.

The waves made by the Isfahan derby made for stricter rules.

The traditional rider of So Moonstruck, the eight-time Derby winner Andrasch Starke, fell victim to this.

He took a shot too many in the Union race in early June and was sidelined during derby week.

The topic of using the whip is probably now being discussed more vigorously and more fundamentally.

For the fresh derby winner, things could continue in the Grand Prix of Baden at the beginning of September.

There he should meet the two-time "Galloper of the Year", Torquator Tasso.

The sensational winner of the Prix de l'Arc de Triomphe made an impressive comeback in Hamburg.

As in the previous year, the five-year-old stallion won the Grand Hansa Prize and made his messed-up debut of the season at the spring meeting in Baden-Baden forgotten, when he finished penultimate, 18 lengths behind the winner.

"It's a relief for me," said his coach Marcel Weiß.

"If everything continues to go according to plan, we want to run in Ascot on July 23rd." After that, the title defense in Baden-Baden and Paris is on the agenda.

The Hamburg organizers could look forward to a very successful derby week.

The betting turnover on derby day broke the one million mark.

A total of almost 2.4 million euros flowed through the betting coffers of the Hamburger Rennverein over the five days of racing - far more than expected.