Charles C. Fenwick Jr.’s Doc Cebu, the hottest newcomer to the timber-racing scene, has been supplemented to meet a veteran field in the $75,000 International Gold Cup, the signature race of Saturday’s 34th annual International Gold Cup at Great Meadow Race Course in The Plains, Va.
The International Gold Cup meet will feature eight races with purses totaling $370,000. Also on the program is the $75,000 David L. “Zeke” Ferguson Memorial (Gr. 2) over hurdles.
First post time is noon, and pari-mutuel racing under the supervision of the Virginia Racing Commission will be offered on all races.
Trained by Jack Fisher, Doc Cebu has done little wrong since beginning his timber career with a win at the My Lady’s Manor meet on April 15. He was second in a Queen’s Cup allowance race two weeks later and then won the Willowdale Steeplechase by nine lengths in mid-May.
The seven-year-old Hard Spun gelding kicked off his fall campaign with an 11 1/4-length score in the Genesee Valley Hunt Cup in New York on Oct. 14. Hadden Frost, who has ridden him in his three victories, will be in the saddle.
The owner and trainer both have had success as riders in the 3 1/2-mile International Gold Cup. Fenwick, the premier timber jockey of the 1970s and 1980s, rode Sugar Bee to victory in 1985. Fisher both trained and rode Call Louis in 1989 and Saluter in 1999.
Several of Doc Cebu’s opponents competed in Virginia Fall’s National Sporting Library and Museum Cup on Oct. 14. Four Virginia Gents’ Worried Man pulled an upset in that 3 1/4-mile timber race and won by 1 3/4 lengths under Kieran Norris, who will ride on Saturday for trainer Doug Fout.
Armata Stables’ Grand Manan, winner of last year’s International Gold Cup, finished second in the National Sporting Library after a second behind Doc Cebu in the Willowdale Steeplechase. Trainer Billy Meister named leading jockey Darren Nagle to ride the front-runner.
Kiplin Hall’s Rodriguez, winner of Shawan Downs’ Brown Advisory Legacy Chase on Sept. 23, finished a distant fourth in the National Sporting Library. Jack Doyle rides for trainer William Dowling.
Irv Naylor’s Ebanour, the reigning two-time Virginia Gold Cup winner over the Great Meadow course, comes into the International Gold Cup on a week’s rest from a fifth-place finish in the New Jersey Hunt Cup at the Far Hills Races. Trainer Cyril Murphy named Gus Dahl to ride.
The 2014 Virginia Gold Cup winner, Holston Hall’s Hot Rize, comes into the International Gold Cup from a third-place finish in this year’s Virginia timber classic. Completing the field is Skip Crawford’s Touchdowntony, who will be ridden by Gonzague Cottreau.
Here is the field for the $75,000 International Gold Cup in post-position order.
Ebanour (Ire). 2007 ch. g., Indian Ridge—Ebadilya, by Sadler’s Wells. Owner: Irvin S. Naylor. Trainer: Cyril Murphy. Jockey: Gus Dahl. Breeders: Aga Khan’s Studs (Ire). 2017 record: 4-1-1-0-, $68,150. 2016 record: 4-3-0-0, $78,000. 2015 record: 2-1-1-0, $31,800. Finished listless fifth in 2017 New Jersey Hunt Cup. Kicked off 2017 campaign with repeat win in Virginia Gold Cup, then was disqualified to second from win in Radnor Hunt Cup and finished sixth in Shawan Downs’ Legacy Chase to open fall season. Also won 2016 My Lady’s Manor and Pennsylvania Hunt Cup. Won 2015 New Jersey Hunt Cup.
Grand Manan. 2009 b. g., Giant’s Causeway—Manoa, by Seeking the Gold. Owner: Armata Stables. Trainer: William Meister. Jockey: Darren Nagle. Breeders: Stuart S. Janney III and Phipps Stable (Ky.). 2017 record: 4-0-2-0, $15,000. 2016 record: 4-3-0-0, $82,950. Began 2017 fall season with second in Shawan’s Legacy Chase, followed by second in National Sporting Library and Museum Cup. Finished fourth in 2017 My Lady’s Manor, then was pulled up in Virginia Gold Cup after setting most of pace. Closed 2016 season with back-to-back front-running victories in the Genesee Valley Hunt Cup and International Gold Cup. Finished in dead heat for 2016 Willowdale Steeplechase win after fifth in My Lady’s Manor.
Doc Cebu. 2010 b. g., Hard Spun—Berga, by Jade Hunter. Owner: Charles C. Fenwick Jr. Trainer: Jack Fisher. Jockey: Hadden Frost. Breeder: Graceville Breeding (Ky.) 2017 record: 4-3-1-0, $51,600. 2016 record: 2-2-0-0, $21,000. Won 2017 Genesee Valley Hunt Cup by 11 1/4 lengths and Willowdale Steeplechase by nine lengths. Opened his timber career with a maiden victory at 2017 My Lady’s Manor and was second in Queen’s Cup timber allowance. Won his two starts over hurdles in 2016.
Rodriguez (Ire). 2007 dk. b. or br. g., High Chapparal (Ire)—Sofia Aurora, by Chief Honcho. Owner: Kiplin Hall. Trainer: William Dowling. Jockey: Jack Doyle. Breeder: Michael G. Daly (Ire). 2017 record: 4-1-0-1, $19,500. 2016 record: 3-1-1-0, $12,700. Won Shawan’s 2017 Brown Advisory Legacy Chase, then was fourth in Virginia Fall’s National Sporting Library and Museum Cup. Finished third in 2017 Winterthur Bowl after being pulled up in Grand National’s Western Run Plate. After second at 2016 Shawan Downs meet, won timber maiden at Virginia Fall before fifth at Steeplechase at Callaway.
Hot Rize. 2004 dk. b. or br. g., Sultry Song—Donesia, by Desert Wine. Owner: Holston Hall. Trainer: Russell Haynes. Jockey: Open. Breeder: Anne Haynes (Ky.) 2017 record: 2-0-0-2, $13,000. 2016 record: 1-0-0-0, $2,500. 2015 record: 5-0-0-0, $5,100. Opened 2017 campaign with third in Middleburg Hunt Cup, then was third in Virginia Gold Cup. Finished well-beaten fourth in 2016 Mason Houghland Memorial at Iroquois Steeplechase. Unplaced in five 2015 starts. Clinched 2014 timber championship with half-length score in Far Hills’ New Jersey Hunt Cup after winning that year’s Virginia Gold Cup at odds of 10.70-1.
Worried Man. 2007 b. g., Dynaformer—Mystic Lady, by Thunder Gulch. Owner: Four Virginia Gents. Trainer: Doug Fout. Jockey: Kieran Norris. Breeder: Lee Lewis (Ky.) 2017 record: 4-1-0-1, $29,000. 2016 record: No starts. Won Virginia Fall’s 2017 National Sporting Library and Museum and Cup after third in Shawan Downs’ Legacy Chase. Finished fourth in 2017 Mason Houghland Memorial at Iroquois. In first start in almost three years, lost his rider in Middleburg Spring’s Alfred M. Hunt Steeplechase.
Touchdowntony. 2009 b. g., Bluegrass Cat—Broad Queen, by Broad Brush. Owner: Irvin L. Crawford II. Trainer: Joseph Davies. Jockey: Gonzague Cottreau. Breeder: Carliwoods Farm (Ky.). 2017 record: 4-0-1-2, $6,950. 2016 record: 4-0-1-1, $4,450. Finished second in 2017 Willowdale maiden timber and then was third in Genesee Valley maiden timber.