Private Attack and Bon Caddo, who staged a season-long battle for the 2011 timber-racing championship, will clash on Saturday, April 28, in the 116th running of the $75,000 Maryland Hunt Cup, the climactic event of Maryland’s timber triple.
Sportsman’s Hall’s Private Attack will be gunning for his second straight victory in the historic Hunt Cup, a four-mile run over daunting post-and-rail fences in Glyndon. Trained nearby by Alicia Murphy, Private Attack won the Hunt Cup by 60 lengths last year after winning the Grand National in Butler a week earlier.
The 13-year-old Private Interview gelding tuned for his quest for a second Hunt Cup victory with a second-place finish in the Grand National on April 14. Patrick Worrall, who rode Private Attack in the Grand National, returns in the saddle.
Merriefield Farm’s Bon Caddo, the reigning National Steeplechase Association timber champion, will have the services of veteran British jockey Sam Waley-Cohen for the Hunt Cup. The 11-year-old Bon Point gelding started his 2012 campaign with a third in the My Lady’s Manor at Monkton on April 7.
Bon Caddo had won last year’s My Lady’s Manor, scored an easy victory in the Virginia Gold Cup, and went on to claim the year’s timber racing title with a second-place finish in the Pennsylvania Hunt Cup, in which Private Attack finished sixth. Dawn Williams trains Bon Caddo near the Hunt Cup course.
Entering the Hunt Cup from a victory in the Grand National is Mrs. William D. Class Jr.’s And the Eagle Flys, who was ridden by trainer William Meister to a front-running three-length victory over Private Attack.
Meister also will saddle Lucy Goelet’s Twill Do, who is seeking his first score since his Maryland Hunt Cup triumph in 2010. He finished fourth in the Grand National under James Stierhoff, who rode him to victory two years ago. Meister, who has ridden three Hunt Cup winners, also entered Voler Bar Nuit, third in the John Rush Streett Memorial amateur maiden timber race at My Lady’s Manor.
Also entering the Hunt Cup from the Grand National are Rosbrian Farm’s More Fascination and Armata Stables’ Haddix. Ridden by Mark Beecher, More Fascination finished third, and Haddix was fifth under Ivan Dowling. Both jockeys return for the Hunt Cup.