WARRENTON, Va.--Jonathan Sheppard on West Grove, Pa., began this season's steeplechasing racing with three wins at the Warrenton Point-to-Point on March 16.
"We had a good day," said Sheppard.
He first saddled Team Ollie's Orchestra Leader , ridden by Keri Brion, to win the second division of the Airlir Steeplechase open Hurdle by 4 lengths.
"Keri is the syndicate manager of the little group that she put together to get Orchestra Leader," said Sheppard. "The horse was with Jimmy Day, but Jimmy was cutting back, so Keri thought it would be nice to have him spend the winter up here. It all came together, and the win give's Keri's little group something to look forward to."
Hudson River Farm's Codrington College (Ire), ridden by Eddie Keating, won the Spring Valley Open Timber by 6 lengths.
"He's a pretty nice horse," said Sheppard. "He won over timber at the Queen's Cup, but he didn't come out of it quite right, so he got some time off."
"He's quite a talented horse, but he's a timid jumper, he props and loses a stride or two over a fence," said Sheppard. "We've been working on that. Eddie schooled the horse at Sanna Neilson's, and that was very beneficial. He went to a fence a length ahead and landed two lengths behind."
SO SHEPPARD told Keating to keep him behind in a race and then turn him loose after the last fence, and that worked perfectly at Warrenton.
"He's got ability, so hopefully bigger things are in store," said Sheppard. "He'll go to Middleburg and the Virginia Gold Cup."
Buttonwood Farm's Invigorating, ridden by Keating, won the Open Flat by 6 lengths.
"Invigorating is a homebred," said Sheppard. "He's a 5-year-old, and the plans are to make a hurdle horse of him.He was actually a pretty impressive winner. His next race will probably be over hurdles."
Juliie Gomena saddled Kinross Farm's Mutin (Fr), ridden by Kieran Norris, to win the Airlie Steeplechase, division 1, and she also saddled Bon Nouvel Chasers LLC's Repeat Repeat, ridden by Norris, to win the Maiden Hurdle.
Neil Morris saddled three winners, Gold Braid in the Maiden Hurdle, Dapper Dan in the Va-bred Flat and Jump to Juneau in the Novice timber.
Mark Beecher saddled David Belt's Carnival Cat to win the Foxhunter Timber under Hannah Belt.