Manco Capac II, High Peak, Counsin Wes and Master's Degree won races at the Middleburg Hunt meeting today, tightening the competition for the Virginia point-to-point titles.
Manco Capac II, a classy 9-year-old chestnut that began his racing in France, carried rider Diane Deeds to within three points of Patti Cassel for the women's championship. He won the Journey's End Bowl by 2 1/2 lengths over Cassel's Nevery Delay.
High Peak shot to the top of the First Colony Life series with a three-quarter-length margin over Arch Kingsley's Joe Finn in the two-mile Janneys Mill Bowl over 10 hurdles. Charles (Chick) Owen's 7-years-old Happy Nasrullah gelding won its third victory of the year, boosting its point total to 16. This is one more than registered by Kool Kate, which did not race today.
Alfred Knowles' Mr. Jam had a 14 points going into the race and had 14 after it. "He just didn't want to run . . . to jump," said a disappointed Knowles.
Randy Rouse moved out in front in his bid to retain his Seven Corners title as Counsin Wes romped in the Middleburg Hunt place. Too Far Gone was second.
Mike DuPont's bay gelding, Hami, which had put the Middleburg sportsman in the lead lst week with a victory at Piedmont, was not a factor after the third fence. "He just hasn't been right all week," said trainer Ridgely White.
Rouse had 2.5 points to DuPoint's 20 with races remaining at Old Dominion Saturday and Oatlands Sunday.
Buzz Hannum guided Master's Degree to a two-length victory in the 3 mile Middleburg Bowl. It was the third victory of the season for Mrs. Robert Crompton III's, promising 7-year-old. Two of those victories have been in Virginia, Cassanova and here, making Master's Degree a factor for Virginia timber horse-of-the-year honors.
"I was told to run him easily," said Hannum. "He likes it that way but I felt him tightening up two fences from home. I just relaxed and so did he." At the last fence he was up with the leaders again and down Glenwood Park's short curving stretch he pulled away to win by two.