Marking himself as a horse to be reckoned with in the fall timber-racing season, He’s a Conniver collected his second straight victory when he turned back a challenge by Bon Caddo and won the $50,000 International Gold Cup by 2 1/4 lengths on Saturday, Oct. 16, at The Plains, Va.
Jumping comfortably on the lead in the late stages of the testing 3 1/2-mile timber race, He’s a Conniver found himself on the far outside with jockey Jody Petty after the last fence, while Merrifield Farm’s Bon Caddo took the inside route under Christopher Read for the battle to the finish line. But Petty kept He’s a Conniver under pressure and maintained his advantage to the finish line.
Finishing a good third in a field of seven was Mrs. S. K. Johnston’s Swagger Stick, a timber-racing newcomer who is trained by Jack Fisher and was ridden by Willie Dowling. Owned by trainer Ernest Oare’s EMO Stables, He’s a Conniver ran the distance on the Great Meadow course in 7:36.
An eight-year-old Crafty Friend gelding who was bred by Racing Hall of Fame trainer Jonathan Sheppard, He’s a Conniver opened the fall timber season with a sparkling 27-length victory in the $35,000 National Sporting Museum Chronicle Cup at the Virginia Fall races in Middleburg on Oct. 2.