Gundry, Maipo take another shot at Voss

Horse, rider try to halt trainer's bid for sweep

Horse Racing

April 27, 2002|By Kent Baker | Kent Baker,SUN STAFF

Can a second British invasion halt the Tom Voss onslaught?

The answer will unfold today when the state's steeplechasing set holds its biggest event, the 106th running of the Maryland Hunt Cup in Glyndon. Post time will be 4 p.m.

While Voss will be shooting to become only the fourth trainer to sweep the My Lady's Manor, Grand National and Hunt Cup in the same year, Polly Gundry returns from England to ride Maipo, the horse who almost broke through Voss' domination at the Manor.

Gundry had Maipo in front of the Voss-trained Ironfist in mid-stretch before the latter horse re-rallied to win by a nose with a display of iron will.

Since that stirring finish, Voss has won both the secondary features at the Manor and Grand National with Wood Whistle and the main attraction on the Grand National card with the dependable Sam Sullivan.

Both Sam Sullivan and Wood Whistle are listed in today's Hunt Cup field, but Voss will scratch one of them from the demanding four-mile test over 22 timber fences.

"I'll probably only run one of them and I don't know which one," said Voss from his Monkton farm yesterday. "Both of them are fine and I won't decide until I have schooled them some."

Sam Sullivan, the gray gelding, has performed up to his usual standards as the apparent successor to Voss' bellweather, Welter Weight, who was retired.

Conversely, Voss said Wood Whistle "has run two weeks in a row and is relishing the activity" and was supplemented to the Hunt Cup for an additional $750.

"I can't really fault either one of them and I might let the girl [jockey Blair Waterman] decide."

She was aboard both horses in winning efforts last Saturday.

It is a pleasant problem for Voss, who will face much of the same competition as in the first two meetings, including former Hunt Cup winner Swayo (fourth in the Grand National), Maipo and Matchless (second in last week's "little race").

"The Hunt Cup is a whole different level and everybody is kind of taking a shot," he said. "Swayo is the only one who's been around there. We'll just have to see what happens."

Although records are incomplete, it is believed Voss would be the first trainer to ever win all five races (the three features, and two secondary features) in the state's spring series.

Jay Trump, trained by Mike Smithwick, swept the three big ones in 1964. Winton. trained by Stuart Janney Jr., captured all three in 1942 and 1946 after a three-year suspension of the races for World War II.

Gundry will be doing her level best to prevent such a happening. One of England's top amateur riders, she followed trainer Charles Fenwick Jr.'s instructions to the letter at the Manor and almost got there.

She originally came to Maryland last year to ride Maipo, who developed an injury and never competed in the series.

"I was searching for an amateur and I knew some people she worked for in England," said Fenwick. "Unfortunately, Maipo broke down last year and she never had the ride. She is very good."

Entries

Maryland Hunt Cup

First race-$65,000, about 4 miles over timber. All carry 165 pounds.

Horse Rider Trainer

Matchless J. Bosley J. Fisher

Stone Buster G. Winants L. Neilson III

aWood Whistle B. Waterman T. Voss

Lil Starvin Marvin W. Meister W. Meister

Ocean Liner E. Cocks E. Cocks

aSam Sullivan B. Waterman T. Voss

Swayo J. Gillet A. Stewart

Young Dubliner B. Moran K. Neilson

Maipo P. Gundry C. Fenwick Jr.

a-Thomas H. Voss trained entry.

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