Bill Pape’s Martini Brother set all the pace in Saturday’s $30,000 Georgia Cup, withstood challenges at the last fence, and prevailed by three-quarters of a length in the featured optional allowance hurdle of the 52nd annual Atlanta Steeplechase.
Matthew T. Groff’s Selection Sunday shadowed Martini Brother through the two-mile race over National Fences and finished second, three-quarters of a length ahead of Gregory D. Hawkins’ Alajmal. Flying Elvis Stable’s Diplomat finished fourth, 5 1/2 lengths behind Alajmal.
Ridden by Darren Nagle, Martini Brother ran the Georgia Cup’s distance in 3:41 flat on firm turf. The nine-year-old A.P. Indy gelding is trained by Racing Hall of Fame member Jonathan Sheppard and won for the first time since the 2013 Jonathan Kiser Novice Stakes at Saratoga Race Course. He also finished second in the 2015 A. P. Smithwick Memorial (Gr. 1) at Saratoga.