WINTERTHUR, Del.—Cyril Murphy saddled Irvin Naylor’s Top Man Michael, ridden by Gustav Dahl, to lead all the way and win the featured $25,000 Winterthur Bowl timber race at the sanctioned Point-to-Point at Winterthur on a chilly May 7.
“This was always the target for Michael,” said Murphy. “He had a nice school at the Middleburg Point-to-Point. “He runs on the front end. That’s where he runs best.”
“He’ll never be a big timber horse,” said Murphy. “These handy little courses suit him.”
Top Many Michael won by 4 ¾ lengths over Armata Stables’ Cornhusker (GB), trained by Alicia Murphy and ridden by Mark Beecher, with Kiplin Hall’s Rodriguez (Ire), trained by William Dowling and ridden by Kieran Norris, third.
Sanna and Kathy Neilson each trained a winner, with Sanna winning the first race, the $15,000 Maiden timber and Kathy taking the third race, the $15,000 Amateur Highweight timber.
King’s Apollo, trained by Sanna, owned by Stewart Strawbridge and ridden by Paddy Young, was an easy winner by 4 ¾ lengths in the Maiden timber, despite Sanna’s fears that she hadn’t done enough with him since My Lady’s Manor to have him ready for Winterthur.
King’s Apollo finished fourth at the Manor, beaten 2 ¼ lengths in his first race over timber since being imported into this country after racing over brush in England.
“When you only have one or two in training, you always worry about if you’ve done enough,” said Sanna. “He came out of the Manor a little sharp, but he settled nicely today. Paddy gave him a great ride. He just moved him up gradually through the field.”
Happenstance and Harry’s Boogie Biz, trained and ridden by Mark Beecher finished second, with Nancy A, Reed’s Handsome Hoyt, trained by Kathy Neilson and ridden by Sean McDermott third.
Kathy then saddled Naylor’s Ride Away, ridden by Bethany Baumgardner, to win the Amateur Apprentice race by 14 ¾ lengths over Jeremy A. Batoff’s Class Indian, trained by Dowling and ridden by Batoff, with Sweet Talking Guy, owned and trained by Benjamin G. Swope and ridden by Erin Swope, taking third.
“He’s very well bred,” said Kathy of Ride Away, who is by Candy Ride out of East Hampton by Meadowlake. “Russell Jones bought him for me.”
“He’s a very good hunter,” said Kathy. “He likes soft ground.”
Ride Away’s first race over timber was at the Manor after he had been campaigned over hurdles by his previous owner, Virgina Lazenby Racing Stable.
“I rode him at the Manor,” said Baumgardner. “He had blinkers on for that race. I stayed a little closer here. He has a good turn of foot.”
Ride Away had a slow start at the Manor and finished fifth.
Eve Ledyard rode Rosbrian Farm’s Swansea Mile (Ire), trained by Ricky Hendriks, to win the Open Flat race by 4 ½ lengths over Strawberry Pickers Stable’s Atherton, trained by Elizabeth Voss and ridden by Baumgardner, with Thistledown Farm’s Wildlife Artist, trained by Beecher and ridden by Tate Shaw, placing third.
“I haven’t ridden under rules for years, due to injuries,” said Ledyard, who was celebrating her first victory since returning to racing, “It’s nice to be back.”
“I bought Swansea Mile at the Doncaster Sales (in England) for George Mahoney,” said Hendriks. “He was fourth in the G3 Temple Gwathmey in April.”