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?

Tuesday, October 6, 2009


Written by Brian Nadeau – Steeplechase Times

With the NHL season getting underway over the weekend it was only fitting that Hat Tricks were the theme at the Virginia Fall Races, where Paddy Young increased his lead in the standings with a trio of wins on Saturday and Jacob Roberts doubled his season total with three wins on Sunday.

Young entered the day with a two-win lead (13-11) over Xavier Aizpuru and Jody Petty in the standings but quickly left little doubt on his fall intentions. He teamed up with main client Doug Fout to sweep the first two on the card, including the featured National Sporting Library Chronicle Cup aboard Maggie Bryant’s Erin Go Bragh. Saving all the ground in the $35,000 timber tilt at 3 1/4 miles, Young engineered the mild upset over Seeyouattheevent and pro-tem leader Patriot's Path.

The win was Erin Go Bragh’s first since taking the New Jersey Hunt Cup last October at Far Hills. In three starts this spring the New Zealand-bred struggled, finishing third of four in a Middleburg allowance, a distant third in the 4-mile Virginia Gold Cup and then fifth, beaten 22 lengths in the Radnor Hunt Cup.

“We kind of played with him in the spring because he came back a bit keen and sketchy in his jumping. We kind of though ‘what’s the best way to ride him?’” At Far Hills he won sitting back off of it so we thought that might be the best way,” Young said. “It helped on Saturday that he was fresh and he jumped so well. He was a bit sharper than earlier in the year and shortening up a little bit helped as well. It’s good to get him back going in the right direction.”

In the opener, an optional claimer, Young guided Eldon Farm’s Chess Board to a neck win over Fogcutter and then made it a perfect 3-for-3 when he guided Ann Stern’s Major Malibu to a maiden timber win for Jack Fisher.

“Coming in I would have been happy to pick up one win, so obviously I didn’t expect this kind of day,” Young said. “Obviously when you get that first one out of the way it makes it a little easier to relax for the remainder of the day. And to win with my only three mounts on the day makes it all the more exciting."

Fisher also scored a training double on the day when he saddled Gil Johnston’s I Know It’s Not (Willie Dowling) to a win in fifth, a maiden-claimer. The 5-year-old son of Yes It’s true won in his fifth start over hurdles.

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