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?

Monday, April 25, 2011


By Joe Clancy/Steeplechase Times

Blythe Miller Davies, twice champion steeplechase jockey in the 1990s, returned to the race course after nearly nine years and won the $30,000 Grand National timber stakes with Maryland Hunt Cup hopeful Private Attack Saturday in Butler, Md.
(Photo by Zach Egolf)
Owned by Sportsmans Hall and trained by Alicia Murphy, the winner tracked pacesetter Uppercut through the early stages fo the 3 1/4-mile test, then held off a furious late run from Incomplete (Charlie Fenwick III) by a neck. with Volle Nolle third The top two finishers will likely renew their battle in the Maryland Hunt Cup next week in Glyndon. Private Attack won the Grand National in 2008 and finished second in 2009 and 2010.

Miller Davies, 42, was a regular on the circuit and rode five-time champion Lonesome Glory among others in a stellar career that included 202 wins from 1988-2002. Now a mother of two, she planned to ride a horse of her own this spring but accepted the Private Attack ride when the other horse went to the sidelines.

"It felt great," she said. "I'm an old lady now, but it came back to me. What a great ride. He's got so much tactical speed, I could place him where I wanted at his fences, move him around, do whatever I wanted. I could hear Charlie coming but he never got in front. My horse responded."

Davies, daughter of trainer Bruce Miller, won the Grand National 20 years earlier aboard Cabral.

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