Morningstar Farm’s Diplodocus laid down all the pace in Saturday’s $30,000 Budweiser Holiday Cup and drew clear to a resounding 12 1/4-length victory in the Aiken Fall Steeplechase’s featured Sport of Kings maiden hurdle. With assistant Eve Ledyard deputizing for leading trainer Ricky Hendriks, Diplodocus wasted no time in securing the front end under jockey
Doc Cebu and jockey Hadden Frost played cat and mouse with Le Chevalier for the first three miles of Saturday’s International Gold Cup before decisively ending the game and drawing away to a 5 1/4-length victory in the National Steeplechase Association’s richest fall timber race.
The victory, worth $45,000 to last year’s timber champion, propelled the eight-year-old Hard Spun gelding into the lead for this year’s timber title with only one weekend of timber racing remaining on the 2018 schedule.
Now owned by Charles Fenwick Jr., Michael Hankin, and Charles Noell, Doc Cebu had secured last year’s title with a victory in the International Gold Cup at Virginia’s Great Meadow Race Course. Trained by Jack Fisher, he won that edition by 11 lengths, and on a cloudy, cool afternoon he proved that soft ground was no impediment as he defended last year’s victory.
Irv Naylor’s Super Saturday, third for much of the 3 1/2-mile race, overtook Le Chevalier in Great Meadow’s stretch and took second money, 4 1/2 lengths clear of Le Chevalier. Favored at 6-5, Doc Cebu paid $4.40 to win after running the distance in 7:30.90.
Steeplechase fans will have an opportunity to watch the live streaming of the International Gold Cup on Saturday. The first post is noon, and the show begins at 11:30 a.m.
The International Gold Cup will offer pari-mutuel wagering on all races under the supervision of the Virginia Racing Commission. The races also will be available for wagering on the popular Xpressbet advance-deposit wagering platform. In addition, TwinSpires and other sites will conduct betting on the card. The races also will be available for wagering in Australia.
To access the live stream, click on the box at the top of the National Steeplechase Association website or follow this link:
Steeplechase racing returns to South Carolina on Saturday for the 27th annual edition of the Aiken Fall Steeplechase. The gala afternoon of Thoroughbred racing will feature five races, four over fences and the day’s final race on the flat. First post time will be 1 p.m. at the Aiken Horse Park. The Aiken Fall races
In pursuit of consecutive timber championships, Doc Cebu will face four opponents on Saturday when he attempts a second straight victory in the $75,000 International Gold Cup, the featured timber race of the 35th annual International Gold Cup meet at Great Meadow Race Course in The Plains, Va.
The 80th International Gold Cup will be complemented by the $75,000 David L. “Zeke” Ferguson Memorial, a Grade 2 hurdle stakes and the $40,000 Steeplethon on an eight-race program offering $370,000 in purses.
First post time is noon, and pari-mutuel wagering will be offered on all races. For the first time, the International Gold Cup program will be available on the popular Xpressbet wagering platform.
Owned by Charles Fenwick, Michael Hankin, and Charles Noell, Doc Cebu sealed his 2017 timber championship with an 11-length romp in the International Gold Cup. This year’s edition of the 3 1/2-mile race is a must-win proposition for the eight-year-old Hard Spun gelding.
He already has won three timber races this year—the Willowdale Steeplechase, the Legacy Chase at Shawan Downs, and most recently the Genesee Valley Hunt Cup—but he needs the International Gold Cup’s $45,000 first-place purse to overtake timber leader Senior Senator, who earned $90,000 in eight days with victories in the Grand National and Maryland Hunt Cup.
Trainer Jack Fisher named Hadden Frost for a return ride on Doc Cebu, whose 2018 earnings total $57,000.
Rosbrian Farm’s Optimus Prime, a Grade 1 winner and Grade 1-placed in his two American starts, heads the field for Saturday’s $75,000 David L. “Zeke” Ferguson Memorial (Gr. 2), the featured hurdle race of the 35th annual International Gold Cup. First post time is noon for the eight-race program featuring flat, hurdle, and timber races,