Pured It, coming back on six days’ rest, set all the pace in Saturday’s $35,000 Radnor Hunt Cup and gamely held off a determined challenge from Le Chevalier to win by a neck. Two’s Company finished third, 7 ¼ lengths behind Le Chevalier, and Lemony Bay was fourth.
Owned by Sycamore Run Farm and Move-Up Stables, Pured It had finished third in the Willowdale Steeplechase on the previous Sunday after following a slow pace in very wet edition of the race over mixed obstacles.
Trainer Kathy Neilson and jockey Eddie Keating adopted a different approach for the 3¼-mile Radnor Hunt Cup, the signature race of the 89th annual Radnor Hunt Races in Malvern, Pa. The Radnor Hunt Cup was climatically the polar opposite of Willowdale, with sunny skies and temperatures in the upper 70s.
Pured It, regarded as one of the longshots in a field of seven timber specialists, jumped out to an early, uncontested lead over Lemony Bay and Two’s Company, both owned by Bruton Street-US, while Michael A. Smith’s Le Chevalier was in his usual position at the back of the field.
They changed positions very little until Kieran Norris asked Virginia Gold Cup runner-up Le Chevalier for a bit of run on the last trip down the backstretch. The 10-year-old responded readily and was in striking range nearing the final fence.
Le Chevalier bid for the lead on the outside after the last, but Pured It was up to the challenge. Keating kept the 10-year-old Purim gelding moving forward, and they held off Le Chevalier to secure the victory.
Two’s Company, the 2016 timber champion, ran evenly to best Lemony Bay by 3 ¼ lengths.
Pured It, who had been disqualified from an allowance victory at the Pennsylvania Hunt Cup last November, ran the Radnor Hunt Cup’s distance in 7:13 1/5 on turf rated as good.
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