MONKTON, Md.--Cyril Murphy saddled Irvin S. Naylor's Ebanour, ridden by Mark Beecher, to win the Edward S. Voss Memorial Open timber race at the Elkridge-Harford Hunt Point-to-Point on April 7.
Ebanour won by 1 1/2 lengths over Senior Senator, the winner of the 2016 Maryland Hunt Cup, who is owned by Irvin L. Crawford II, trained by Joe Davies and ridden by Eric Poretz, with De Chera, owned and trained by H. Bruce Fenwick and ridden by Chris Gracie, finishing third.
"Ebanour sat in the middle of the pack early on," said Murphy. "That was the plan, to use this as a schooling run. This was his first run of the year, and we wanted to give Mark a chance to get to know him."
"He jumped nicely," said Murphy. "He just galloped over the last fence and finished in front nicely. It was a very nice school."
"He's nominated to go to the Grand National," said Murphy. "If he goes there, Mark will ride him. Whether he goes to the Maryland Hunt up will be discussed after the Grand National. That was the purpose of the exercise Saturday, to discuss whether to go to the Grand National."
"HE'LL EITHER go to the Hunt Cup or to the Gold Cup the following week," said Mrphy, "I'm hoping he'll go to one or theother."
Following the Open Timber, Poretz was uncatchable, winning the next three races.
Riding the Fenwick owned and trained Daddy in the Dark, Poretz beat Beecher on Ann Jackson's Raven's Choice, trained by Todd Wyatt by 1/2 length in the Heavyweight Timber.
He rode Frank A. Bonsal's Stand Down (Ire), trained by Davies, to win the Novice Timber by 1 length over Beecher on Riverdee Stable's Biedemeister, trained by Wyatt.
In the Amateur Apprentice Timber, Poretz rode Armata Stables' Going For Broke (Ire), trained by Stephanie Moore, to win by 1 length over Peter A Joy's Prime Prospecor, trained by Wyatt and ridden by Brett Owings.In the Flat Training race, Wyatt saddled Jackson's Flash Jackson, ridden by Owings, to win over Robart A . Kinsley's Unsinkable (Ire), trained by Elizabeth Voss and ridden by Bethany Baumgardner.
Ricky Hedriks gave his son Mcane a leg up on Debra E. Kachel's Disovedience to win the Amateur Flat race over Bruton Street-S' Bishop's Castle, trained by Wyatt and ridden by Owings.