Holston Hall’s Hot Rize, beaten a nose in the Radnor Hunt Cup in May, looms as a strong favorite in the $35,000 National Sporting Library Chronicle Cup, the featured timber race of the 58th annual Virginia Fall Races in Middleburg on Saturday, Oct. 5. First post time is 1:15 p.m. for the eight-race program at the Glenwood Park Course.
Trainer Edward Mulligan named Jeff Murphy to ride Hot Rize, who is no stranger to Glenwood. He won the Middleburg Hunt Cup by 1 1/4 lengths on April 20 in his first start for Holston Hall and Mulligan. He subsequently finished sixth in the $75,000 Virginia Gold Cup as the 3.10-1 favorite on May 4.
In the $40,000 Radnor Hunt Cup on May 18, Hot Rize led at the final fence but lost a head bob at the finish line. Murphy has ridden the nine-year-old Sultry Song gelding in his three 2013 starts.
Trainer Kathy Neilson will saddle Armata Stables’ Embarrassed, who had no reason to be embarrassed after a two-week binge in which he finished second in the Winterthur Bowl on May 5 and then won the $15,000 Willowdale Steeplechase by 4 3/4 lengths on May 12.
The eight-year-old Flatter gelding tuned for the Chronicle Cup with a fourth in the $20,000 Legacy Chase at Shawan Downs on Sept. 28. Willie McCarthy will ride.
Veteran jockey Bernie Dalton will be aboard Kinross Farm’s Old Timer for the 3 1/4-mile Chronicle Cup. Trained by Neil Morris, the seven-year-old Orientate gelding won a division of the John Rush Streett Memorial maiden timber race at My Lady’s Manor on April 13 and then finished fourth against strong competition in the $50,000 Mason Houghland Memorial at Nashville’s Iroquois Steeplechase on May 11.
Making his first start since 2011 will be He’s a Conniver, owned by Ernie Oare’s EMO Stable and trained by Don Yovanovich. The 11-year-old veteran won the 2010 Chronicle Cup by 27 lengths and finished third the following year. Roddy Mackenzie will ride.
Ivy Hill Stable’s On the Corner comes into the Chronicle Cup from a maiden timber victory at Shawan Downs. Trainer Alicia Murphy named Mark Beecher for a return engagement aboard the seven-year-old Smart Strike gelding.
The Virginia Fall Races program also will herald the beginning of the National Steeplechase Association’s competition for the three-year-old championship in the $10,000 Nelson C. Noland Memorial maiden hurdle. Edition Farm’s Run to Class prevailed over more seasoned competitors in a training flat race at Shawan Downs. Mackenzie has the mount for trainer Janet Elliot.