Ballybristol Farm’s Andi’amu, whose undefeated season over timber fences includes a Virginia Gold Cup victory, heads a strong list of eight nominees to the $75,000 International Gold Cup, the timber feature of the 36th annual International Gold Cup meet on Saturday, Oct. 26.
Also on the program are the $75,000 David L. “Zeke” Ferguson Memorial (Gr. 2) over National Fences and the $40,000 Steeplethon over a course of mixed obstacles at the Great Meadow Race Course in The Plains, Va. First post time is noon.
Also nominated to the 80th running of the International Gold Cup was Dolly Fisher’s Schoodic, a Grade 2 winner over hurdles at Great Meadow who has made a highly successful transition to timber racing. He won the Genesee Valley Hunt Cup on Oct. 12.
French-bred Andi’amu is a perfect three-for-three for trainer Leslie Young this season. Successful over steeplethon courses last year, he won the Middleburg Hunt Cup by 5¾ lengths before a three-length score in the Virginia Gold Cup.
The nine-year-old began the fall portion of his season with an effortless victory in Virginia Fall’s National Sporting Library and Museum Cup on Oct. 12. Ridden by Jack Doyle, Andi’amu set all the pace and won by 7¼ lengths under a hold.
Irv Naylor’s Super Saturday, who finished second to Andi’amu in the National Sporting Library and third in the Virginia Gold Cup, also was nominated to the International Gold Cup by trainer Kathy Neilson.
Schoodic, trained by Jack Fisher, sustained the first defeat of his timber career in Shawan Downs’ Brown Advisory Legacy Chase on Sept. 28. He came back with a one-length victory in the Genesee Valley Hunt Cup. He won the 2017 David Semmes Memorial on the Virginia Gold Cup card.
Racing Hall of Fame trainer Jonathan Sheppard nominated Hudson River Farms’ Codrington College, who defeated Schoodic by a neck in the Legacy Chase.
Michael A. Smith’s Le Chevalier finished second in the Genesee Valley Hunt Cup after second-place finishes behind Andi’amu in the Virginia Gold Cup and Middleburg Hunt Cup. He was nominated to the International Gold Cup by trainer Julie Gomena.
Also nominated from the Genesee Valley Hunt Cup were Armata Stables’ Grand Manan, third, and Frank A. Bonsal Jr.’s Stand Down, who finished fourth. Grand Manan won the International Gold Cup in 2016 International Gold Cup for trainer Billy Meister.
Trained by Joseph G. Davies, Stand Down won the 2018 Pennsylvania Hunt Cup.
Completing the nominations is S. Rebecca Shepherd’s Curve of Stones, a maiden winner at the Virginia Fall meet for trainer David Bourke.
Here are the eight nominees to the $75,000 International Gold Cup in alphabetical order.
Andi’amu (Fr). 2010 b. g., Walk In The Park—Sainte Parfaite, by Septieme Ciel. Owner: Ballybristol Farm. Trainer: Leslie Young. Breeder: Therese Bouche (Fr). 2019 record: 3-3-0-0, $102,000. 2018 record: 2-2-0-0, $36,000. Easily won Virginia Fall’s 2019 National Sporting Library and Museum Cup. Won the 2019 Virginia Gold Cup by three lengths and Middleburg Hunt Cup by 5¾ lengths. Won Middleburg Spring’s 2018 Alfred M. Hunt steeplethon, then added Virginia Gold Cup’s Steeplethon Stakes. Finished second in 2017 Noel Laing Handicap and third in 2017 Calvin Houghland Iroquois (Gr. 1).
Codrington College (Ire). 2010 ch. g., Duke of Marmalade—A.P. Easy, by A.P. Indy. Owner: Hudson River Farms. Trainer: Jonathan Sheppard. Breeder: Laundry Cottage Stud Farm (Ire). 2019 record: 3-1-0-2, $18,500. 2018 record: 1-1-0-0, $9,000. Won Shawan Downs’ 2019 Brown Advisory Legacy Chase. Finished third in Grand National’s 2019 Western Run Plate and in Iroquois Steeplechase’s Mason Houghland Memorial. Won his timber debut at 2018 Queen’s Cup.
Curve of Stones 2011 gr. or ro. g., Arch—Exceptionally, by El Prado (Ire). Owner: Sarah Rebecca Shepherd. Trainer: David M. Bourke. Breeder: Audley Farm (Va.) 2019 record: 4-1-0-0, $1,200. 2018 record: 3-0-0-0, $2,100. 2017 record: 8-0-0-1, $18,100. Won timber maiden at 2019 Virginia Fall meet. Made change to steeplethons in 2019 and finished fifth at Middleburg Spring and fourth at the Virginia Gold Cup. Finished sixth in 2018 Far Hills ratings handicap. Began 2018 with fifth in Shawan Downs rating handicap and was eighth in Virginia Fall ratings handicap. Finished third in 2017 David L. “Zeke” Ferguson Memorial (Gr. 2).
Grand Manan. 2009 b. g., Giant’s Causeway—Manoa, by Seeking the Gold. Owner: Armata Stables. Trainer: William Meister. Breeders: Stuart S. Janney III and Phipps Stable (Ky.). 2019 record: 5-0-1-2, $7,300. 2018: 4-0-0-1, $6,200. Finished third in Shawan’s 2019 Legacy Chase and Genesee Valley Hunt Cup. after distant second in Willowdale timber allowance. Led and was pulled up in 2019 My Lady’s Manor and Middleburg Hunt Cup. Closed 2016 season with back-to-back front-running victories in the Genesee Valley Hunt Cup and International Gold Cup.
Le Chevalier. 2009 g. or ro. g., Broken Vow—Orellana, by With Approval. Owner: Michael A. Smith. Trainer: Julie Gomena. Breeder: Haras du Mezeray (Ky.) 2019 record: 4-0-4-0, $35,100. 2018 record: 4-1-2-1, $54,900. Finished second in 2019 Radnor Hunt Cup and Genesee Valley Hunt Cup after second-place finishes in Virginia Gold Cup and Middleburg Hunt Cup. Won 2018 National Sporting Library & Museum Cup, then was third in International Gold Cup. Won the 2016 New Jersey Hunt Cup.
Schoodic. 2010 b. g., Tiznow—Aunt Henny, by Hennessy. Owner: Dolly Fisher. Trainer: Jack Fisher. Breeder: Edith R. Dixon (Ky.) 2019 record: 5-4-1-0, $64,500. 2018 record: 6-0-1-2, $35,800. Won the 2019 Genesee Valley Hunt Cup. Opened his timber career in 2019 with three straight victories, including 16¾-length romp in Iroquois Steeplechase’s Mason Houghland Memorial and an open-length win in Fair Hill novice timber, then was second in Shawan Downs’ Brown Advisory Legacy Chase. Was a Grade 2 winner and Grade 1-placed over hurdles.
Stand Down (Ire). 2012 b. g., Yeats (Ire)—Quadrennial, by Un Desperado. Owner: Frank Bonsal Jr. Trainer: Joseph G. Davies. Breeder: Mrs. E. Costelloe (Ire). 2019 record: 3-0-1-0, $7,300. 2018 record: 5-3-0-1, $45,000. Finished fourth in 2019 Genesee Valley Hunt Cup. Finished fifth in 2019 Virginia Gold Cup after second in John D. Schapiro timber allowance at My Lady’s Manor. Won 2018 Pennsylvania Hunt Cup. Sustained first career defeat when third in 2018 Genesee Valley Hunt Cup, then was pulled up in International Gold Cup. Won first two career starts by open lengths, beginning with 2018 Grand National timber allowance and then Willowdale allowance timber.
Super Saturday. 2009 gr. or ro. g., Any Given Saturday—Lady Aloma, by Cozzene. Owner: Irvin S. Naylor. Trainer: Kathy Neilson. Breeder: Walton Breeders (Ky.) 2019 record: 4-0-1-1, $18,400. 2018 record: 6-1-2-1, $51,800. 2017 record: 6-0-1-1, $13,400. Finished second in Virginia Fall’s 2019 National Sporting Library and Museum Cup. Finished third in 2019 Virginia Gold Cup, then fell in Radnor Hunt Cup. Finished fifth in Middleburg Hunt Cup. Finished second in 2018 International Gold Cup and Pennsylvania Hunt Cup after fifth in National Sporting Library & Museum Cup. Won 2018 Middleburg Hunt Cup, then was third in the Virginia Gold Cup and fourth in Radnor Hunt Cup.