Ballybristol Farm’s Andi’amu took the lead at the final fence and bounded away from his opponents to win the $40,000 Noel Laing Handicap by 11 1/2 lengths at Saturday’s 81st annual Montpelier Hunt Races. S. Bruce Smart Jr.’s Bonded held off owner-trainer Richard Valentine’s Fog Island by 1 1/2 lengths for second money, and Magalen O. Bryant’s Plated finished fourth.
Irv Naylor’s Decoy Daddy was scratched from the 2 1/2-mile Noel Laing, and the leading owner’s Able Deputy set the pace over a course rated as yielding on a rainy afternoon in Virginia. French-bred Andi’amu, trained by Leslie Young and ridden by her husband, Paddy Young, made a strong bid heading into the last and drew away with every stride to the finish line.
The five-year-old secured his first U.S. victories after three consecutive second-place finishes since his arrival from England, where he had one win over fences.