Moonsox took control early in the $40,000 Radnor Hunt Cup, surrendered the lead on the final circuit, took back the advantage, and surged away after the final fence to win the Radnor Hunt Races’ featured timber stakes race on Saturday, May 17.
With Fritz Boniface in the saddle for his father, trainer Kevin Boniface, Nelson & Traveller Stable’s Moonsox won by 4 3/4 lengths. He ran the Radnor Hunt Cup’s 3 1/4 miles in 7:47.40 on turf rated as good at W. Burling Cocks Memorial Race Course in Malvern, Pa.
Jack Fisher, last year’s co-champion trainer and co-champion timber trainer, swept the next three spots, with Seer, owned by Sheila J. Williams and Andre Brewster, finishing six lengths clear of Sonny Via’s Worried Man. Straight to It, also owned by Williams and Brewster, finished fourth in a field of seven.
Fritz Boniface popped Moonsox to the lead shortly after the start, and the eight-year-old Mohave Moon gelding settled into a steady pace while jumping well. “Once he got to the front, he was so comfortable,” his jockey said.
Irv Naylor’s Chess Board had jumped out to an initial lead but gave way to Moonsox in the first mile. On the final circuit, Armata Stable’s Wildcatter rallied from midpack to apply pressure to Moonsox. Ridden by Gus Dahl, Wildcatter moved to the front with Moonsox right behind him. Boniface said Moonsox was ready to run when Wildcatter came to him. “Once he got the pressure, he got right into the bridle,” the rider said.
Wildcatter fell at the last of fence, and Moonsox easily turned back the challenges from Fisher’s trio.
The elder Boniface said he had considered the Virginia Gold Cup and the Iroquois Steeplechase’s Mason Houghland Memorial for Moonsox but decided he wanted to race him in the Radnor Hunt Cup. He gave him a tightener and confidence booster in the Winterthur Bowl, a timber allowance race, on May 4.
Moonsox had begun the year with a seventh-place finish in the My Lady’s Manor, a race he had won in 2013, and then finished second in the Middleburg Hunt Cup, a timber allowance, on April 19 before his Winterthur victory in Delaware.