An extraordinarily well-matched field will line up Saturday, May 17, for the $40,000 Radnor Hunt Cup, the featured timber race of the 84th annual Radnor Hunt Races in Malvern, Pa.
Also featured will be the $50,000 National Hunt Cup (Gr. 3) over National Fences. First post time is 1:30 p.m. for the six-race program, which supports the Brandywine Conservancy.
Moonsox, owned by Nelson & Traveller Stable, enters the 3 1/4-mile Radnor Hunt Cup from a solid victory in the $20,000 Winterthur Bowl in Delaware on May 4. The 2013 My Lady’s Manor winner finished seventh in last year’s Radnor Hunt Cup for trainer Kevin Boniface. The trainer’s son, K. Fritz Boniface, will ride.
Jack Fisher, who shared last year’s leading trainer and leading timber trainer titles, will send out a timber threesome for the Radnor Hunt Cup. Sheila J. Williams’ and Andre Brewster’s Straight to It, winner of a timber race at the Marion duPont Scott Colonial Cup meet last fall, finished fifth in the Virginia Gold Cup on May 3.
Jeff Murphy will ride Straight to It, winner of the 2012 New Jersey Hunt Cup. The owners also will be represented by Seer, fourth in the Winterthur Bowl, who will be handled by Sam Jones.
Fisher also will saddle Sonny Via’s Worried Man, the 2013 Mason Houghland Memorial winner who finished sixth in the Virginia Gold Cup. Paddy Young, the reigning champion jockey, will ride.
Billy Meister, who shared the 2013 timber trainer title with Fisher, tabbed current top jockey Willie McCarthy to ride Irv Naylor’s Chess Board, winner of last fall’s New Jersey Hunt Cup timber allowance race. The British-bred 11-year-old finished third in this year’s Middleburg Hunt Cup timber allowance and lost his rider in the Virginia Gold Cup.
Oakwood Stable’s Country Cousin won the 2010 National Hunt Cup, and he returns to Radnor as a timber competitor. He started the 2014 season with a second to Moonsox, beaten 3 1/2 lengths, in the Winterthur Bowl. Julie Gomena trains the multiple stakes winner over hurdles, and Mark Beecher will ride.
Gus Dahl will be aboard Armata Stables’ recent maiden timber winner Wildcatter for trainer Elizabeth Voss Murray.
Who do you like in the $40,000 Radnor Hunt Cup?
Moonsox. 2006 ch. g., Mojave Moon–Sister Sox, by Deputy Minister. Owner: Nelson & Traveller Stable. Trainer: Kevin Boniface. Jockey: K. Fritz Boniface. 2014 record: 1-1-0-0, $12,000. 2013 record: 4-1-0-0, $21,600. 7-2 odds. Won 2014 debut in Winterthur Bowl over timber. Finished seventh in the 2013 Radnor Hunt Cup after fifth in the Virginia Gold Cup. Won 2013 My Lady’s Manor. Finished second in the 2012 New Jersey Hunt 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: Jeff Murphy. 2014 record: 2-0-0-0, $4,500. 2013 record: 6-1-4-1, $47,500. 4-1 odds. Finished fourth in 2014 debut in My Lady’s Manor, then was fifth in Virginia Gold Cup on May 3. Gave Jack Fisher a share of trainer’s title with victory in Colonial Cup’s Springdale timber allowance. Finished second in International Gold Cup and Shawan Downs’ Legacy Chase. Finished third in Radnor Hunt Cup after second in Virginia Gold Cup. Rallied for second in My Lady’s Manor. Won the 2012 New Jersey Hunt Cup at Far Hills, N.J.
Wildcatter. 2008 dk. b. or br. g., Tale of the Cat—Cita My Dear, by Kris S. Owner: Armata Stable. Trainer: Elizabeth Voss Murray. Jockey: Gus Dahl. 2014 record: 1-1-0-0, $9,000. 2013 NSA record: 5-0-1-1, $8,200. 10-1 odds. Won Foxfield Spring maiden timber race by 3 1/2 lengths on April 26. Closed 2013 campaign with second in Montpelier maiden hurdle.
Country Cousin. 2003 dk. b. or br. g., Lear Fan–Stony Lonesome, by Apalachee. Owner: Oakwood Stable (Nicole H. Perry). Trainer: Julie Gomena. Jockey: Mark Beecher. 2014 record: 1-0-1-0, $$3,600. 2013 record: 2-0-2-0, $18,000. 8-1 odds. Started timber career with second in Winterthur Bowl allowance on May 4. Finished second in both 2013 starts, Budweiser Imperial Cup (Gr. 3) at Aiken Spring and Temple Gwathmey (Gr. 3) at Middleburg Spring. Won the 2011 David L. “Zeke” Ferguson Memorial (Gr. 3) at Colonial Downs and Budweiser Imperial Cup at Aiken Spring. Won the 2010 National Hunt Cup.
Worried Man. 2007 b. g., Dynaformer—Mystic Lady, by Thunder Gulch. Owner: Harold A. “Sonny” Via. Trainer: Jack Fisher. Jockey: Paddy Young. 2014 record: 2-0-0-0, $3,450. 2013 record: 6-2-1-0, $43,700. 8-1 odds. Finished fifth in My Lady’s Manor on April 12, then was sixth in Virginia Gold Cup on May 3. Closed the 2013 season with a win in a Pennsylvania Hunt Cup timber allowance after fourth in the International Gold Cup. Upset the Mason Houghland Memorial at Nashville’s Iroquois Steeplechase before seventh in Shawan Downs’ Legacy Chase. Began timber career with fifth in My Lady’s Manor timber maiden and then was second in a timber maiden at the Foxfield Spring Races.
Chess Board (GB). 2003 b. g., Vettori–Cruinn a Bhord, by Inchinor (GB). Owner: Irvin S. Naylor. Trainer: William Meister. Jockey: Willie McCarthy. 2014 record: 2-0-0-1, $2,000. 2013 record: 1-1-0-0, $15,000. 5-1 odds. Finished third in the 2014 Middleburg Hunt Cup on April 19, then lost rider in the Virginia Gold Cup. In first 2013 start over fences, won the New Jersey Hunt Cup, a timber allowance. In previous start, finished sixth in 2012 Radnor Hunt Cup.
Seer. 2004 b. g., Pulpit–Potrinner (Arg), by Potrillazo. Owner: Sheila J. Williams and Andre Brewster. Trainer: Jack Fisher. Jockey: Sam Jones. 2014 record: 3-0-0-0, $1,600. 2013 record: 5-1-1-1, $15,000. 10-1 odds. Finished fourth in Winterthur Bowl timber allowance race on May 4. Distanced in Middleburg Hunt Cup after falling at last fence of Carolina Cup timber allowance.