Sheila Williams’ Straight to It, stripped of a victory in last year’s Radnor Hunt Cup, returns to W. Burling Cocks Memorial Race Course on Saturday for an opportunity at redemption in the renewal of the Radnor Hunt Cup’s signature timber race.
First post time is 1:30 p.m. at the Malvern, Pa., course, and the program also will feature the $50,000 National Hunt Cup (Gr. 3) over National Fences. Full fields are on tap for the 86th annual edition of the Philadelphia-area meet.
Last year, Straight to It reached the Radnor finish line first, but he was disqualified for interfering with Wildcatter in the stretch and was placed second. He subsequently scored a runaway victory in the National Sporting Library and Museum Cup in Virginia.
This season, trainer Jack Fisher has sent out the 10-year-old for a fourth-place finish in the Virginia Gold Cup. Sean McDermott again will be in the saddle.
Leading owner Irv Naylor has had two remarkable weekends with four stakes victories: the Virginia Gold Cup and David Semmes Memorial (Gr. 2) on May 7 and the Calvin Houghland Iroquois (Gr. 1) and the Margaret Currey Henley Stakes last weekend in Nashville.
This week, he had two top contenders for the Radnor Hunt Cup, Top Man Michael and Personal Brew. Top Man Michael ran away with the Winterthur Bowl on May 8 in his timber-racing debut. He is trained by Cyril Murphy, who saddled Naylor’s four stakes winners this month, and will be ridden by Gus Dahl.
Billy Meister trains Personal Brew, who set the pace in the Virginia Gold Cup and held on well for third. Willie McCarthy has the mount.
Also coming out of the Virginia Gold Cup is Old Timer, who finished fifth. Kieran Norris will ride for trainer Christopher Read.
Here is the field for the $30,000 Radnor Hunt Cup.
Nationbuilder. 2004 dk. b. or br. g., Came Home—Seattle Bay, by Opening Verse. Owner: Bill Pape. Trainer: Jonathan Sheppard. Jockey: Darren Nagle. Breeder: Augustin Stable (Pa.) 2016 record: 2-0-0-0, $0. 2015 record: No starts. Came back after long period on the sidelines and lost rider in John D. Schapiro amateur allowance timber race at 2016 My Lady’s Manor before fall in Winterthur Bowl. Finished third in Iroquois Steeplechase’s Mason Houghland Memorial over timber in May 2014.
Certain Swagger. 2009 b. g., Arch—Comedy, by Theatrical (Ire). Owner: Jeremy Batoff. Trainer: William Dowling. Jockey: Paddy Young. Breeders: Claiborne Farm and Arlene Dilschneider. (Ky.) 2016 record: 3-0-0-2, $4,000. 2015 record: 6-1-0-1, $17,000. 2014 record: 5-0-0-2, $27,200. Finished ninth in 2016 My Lady’s Manor, then was third in Middleburg Spring’s Alfred M. Hunt steeplechase and Winterthur Bowl. Ended 2015 season with seventh in International Gold Cup after being pulled up a week earlier in New Jersey Hunt Cup. Scored 45-length victory in Queen’s Cup timber allowance. Made successful transition to timber racing in 2014 and won timber allowance at International Gold Cup meet.
Old Timer. 2006 b. g., Orientate—Chatham Hall, by Green Dancer. Owner: Kinross Farm. Trainer: Christopher Read. Jockey: Kieran Norris. Breeder: Gainesway Thoroughbreds (Ky.) 2016 record: 2-0-0-1, $7,000. 2015 record: 1-0-0-0, $0. 2014 record: 2-0-1-1, $12,900. Finished third in 2016 My Lady’s Manor and was fifth in Virginia Gold Cup. Fell in the National Sporting Library and Museum Cup, his only 2015 start. Finished second in 2014 My Lady’s Manor before third in Virginia Gold Cup. Finished second in 2013 National Sporting Library Chronicle Cup.
Straight to It. 2006 ch. g., Giant’s Causeway—Helsinka (Fr), by Pennekamp. Owners: Sheila J. Williams and Andre Brewster. Trainer: Jack Fisher. Jockey: Sean McDermott. Breeder: Thierry Grandsir (Ky.). 2016 record: 2-0-1-0, $10,400. 2015 record: 4-1-1-1, $36,600. 2014 record: 7-1-0-3, $33,000. Finished fourth in 2016 Virginia Gold Cup. Won Virginia Fall’s 2015 National Sporting Library & Museum Cup by seven lengths. Disqualified from victory in Radnor Hunt Cup. Finished fifth in 2015 My Lady’s Manor, then third in Virginia Gold Cup. Won the 2012 New Jersey Hunt Cup at Far Hills.
Top Man Michael (Ire). 2009 b. g., Antonius Plus—Top Brex, by Top Ville. Owner: Irvin S. Naylor. Trainer: Cyril Murphy. Jockey: Gus Dahl. Breeder: John Egan (Ire). 2016 record: 1-1-0-0, $15,000. No starts. 2015 record: No starts. Won 2016 Winterthur Bowl in his first start over timber. Won the Daniel Van Clief Memorial at 2014 Foxfield Spring Races.
On the Corner. 2006 b. g., Smart Strike—Miss Otis, by One for All. Owner: Ivy Hill Stable. Trainer: Alicia Murphy. Jockey: Mark Beecher. Breeder: Henry T. Rathbun (Md.). 2016 record: 2-0-1-0, $7,200. 2015 record: No starts. 2014 record: 2-0-0-2, $4,000. Finished second in 2016 Virginia Gold Cup’s Steeplethon after going off-course in Middleburg Spring’s Alfred M. Hunt steeplechase.
Personal Brew. 2006 dk. b. or br. g., Milwaukee Brew—Sergeant Mimi, by Personal Flag. Owner: Irvin S. Naylor. Trainer: William Meister. Jockey: Willie McCarthy. Breeders: Tammy Barnes and John Ubelhor, D.V.M. (Ky.) 2016 record: 3-0-1-2, $16,600. 2015 record: 4-1-0-0, $9,000. 2014 record: No starts. Set pace in 2016 Virginia Gold Cup and held on for third. Finished second in 2016 Carolina Cup’s C. P. and Edith Wills DuBose Cup, then third in Middleburg Hunt Cup.
Brother Sy. 2005 b. g., Syncline—Cozzy Rhythm, by Cozzene. Owner: Armata Stables. Trainer: Todd Wyatt. Jockey: Lia McGuirk. Breeders: Mr. & Mrs. Randolph L. Rolfe (Pa.). 2016 record: 1-0-1-0, $2,700. 2015 record: 5-0-2-0, $10,100. 2014 record: 6-2-2-1, $18,900. Began 2016 campaign with second in Willowdale amateur allowance timber race on May 15. Finished second in timber allowance at 2015 Steeplechase at Callaway and also had second in Middleburg Spring’s steeplechase allowance. Ended 2014 with third-place finish in Colonial Cup’s Springdale open timber after seconds in Virginia Fall’s National Sporting Library & Museum Cup and Far Hills’ New Jersey Hunt Cup.
Joshua G. 2006 ch. g., Run Softly—Search for Reality, by Regal Search. Owner: Armata Stables. Trainer: Kathy Neilson. Jockey: Gerard Galligan. Breeder: Jason L. Cole (Pa.) 2016 record: 3-0-0-1, $3,000. 2015 record: 4-0-0-0, $5,750. 2014 record: 3-1-0-0, $10,400. Finished fourth in 2016 Grand National, then fell in Maryland Hunt Cup and finished third in Willowdale amateur allowance timber. Finished fourth in 2015 Pennsylvania Hunt Cup timber allowance race after fall in Genesee Valley Hunt Cup. Finished fifth and placed fourth in Maryland Hunt Cup.