Uncle Merlin, who fell while racing on the lead in the 1990 English Grand National at Liverpool, returns to timber racing tomorrow at the Elkridge-Harford Point-to-Point in Monkton.
The 11-year-old gelding, who won the Maryland Hunt Cup in 1989, faces unbeaten Revelstoke in the Edward S. Voss Memorial over the three-mile timber course at Atlanta Hall Farm.
"Uncle Merlin last raced in England in December 1990, when he injured a tendon," said rider-trainer Louis "Paddy" Neilson III. "His owners [Mr. and Mrs. Roy Chapman of Unionville, Pa.] brought him home and gave him last year off. I put him back in work in December, and he's come along nicely. We started him over timber a couple of weeks ago at Warrenton, Va., and he finished third. He was a little rusty, but we were pleased enough with the effort."
Neilson said if the horse runs well tomorrow, he will be pointed for the Grand National Point-to-Point at Butler on April 18 and then the April 25 Maryland Hunt Cup.
Revelstoke, who won the Voss Memorial last year, makes his first start since he separated a shoulder in a freak schooling accident last spring. He is ridden and trained by Jack Fisher.
Completing the Voss lineup are Pacific Parley (Joe Gillet, rider), Cotuit (Liz McKnight), Ballybranogue (Jay Meister), The
Snowmaker (J. W. Delozier), Local Kid (Jason Griswold) and Timmy Flynn (Anne Moran). Body Music (Charlie Fenwick) and Imp Chacer (Irv Naylor) are also entered, but are considered doubtful starters.
There are five other races on the card, including two other timber races, two flat races and a junior race run in three divisions.
Post time for the first race is 1:30 p.m. General admission at $20 per car can be paid at the course. For more information, contact Joe Gillet at (410)-771-4688.