All of the inside scoop on Virginia's biggest day of Steeplechase racing -- the Virginia Gold Cup. Hey, 50,000 of your closest friends can't be wrong! Do you have your tickets yet?

Friday, October 10, 2008


It's not unusual for horses trying to win the International Gold Cup to win the Chronicle Cup at Middleburg prior to the timber staple at Great Meadow.

It wouldn't be all that unusual if a horse own by publisher Arthur W. (Nick) Arundel to run, and win, the International Gold Cup.

It wouldn't be completely out of the question for Monte Bianco to be both of those things.

Last weekend, Arundel's Monte Bianco, who has the Italian nom de plume for a Alp, won the Chronicle Cup and now looks like one of the best timber horses around.

According to Steeplechase Times: To say 2007 was a rough year for Monte Bianco would be like saying Elvis Presley was mildly popular. The Irish-bred son of King Of Kings made it to the races twice last year, pulling up in a Charlotte allowance timber in April before falling in the Mason Houghland at Nashville a month later.

Those efforts were sandwiched between a fall at Marlborough Point-to-Point that started his season and another in a summer schooling session that ended it. Trainer Jack Fisher summed up his feelings succinctly: “I had had it with him.”

The trainer’s tone has changed dramatically in 2008. Monte Bianco took the Radnor Hunt Cup in May and thrust himself into the race for the timber title with an authoritative 3 1/4-length victory in the $35,000 National Sporting Library Chronicle Cup Oct. 4 at the Virginia Fall Races at Glenwood Park.

What a difference a year makes.

Elvis would be so proud.

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