Randy Waterman's Myrmydon, making its first start in two years, took well to the Ben Venue steeplechase course before 6,000 spectators yesterday to win the Old Dominion Hunt Cup by four lengths over Boca Bird. The early leader, Chandler, finished third.
"We thought he would be a little short for it," said Waterman, of Warrenton. "He was out for two years, was a late scratch at Middleburg last week and we weren't just sure."
Myrmydon took the 19 jumps in stride and finished the 3 1/4 miles in a startling 6:49. The time was almost a full minute faster than Appolinax's 7:47 over the same distance in winning the Leeds Manor open race earlier in the afternoon carrying 15 pounds less.
Despite losing a stirrup at the 13th fence, Waterman won his first Seven Gorners Challenge Trophy race, and the victory projected Myrmydon into contention for the title. There are four races left on the schedule.
Seven Corners leader Estremadura didn't race," Waterman said. The two are schedule to meet in next Sunday's Times-Mirror Cup at Oatlands.
Gus Forbush took Chandler to the top immediately with Mrymydon settling into second and Boca Bird running easily in third. Timbuctoo trailed the field over the first 15 fences and then was pulled up.
The entire race changed going up the hill into the 15th. Waterman made his move and Roy Graham weent with him on Boca Bird. From that point it was a two-horse race with Boca Bird winner of the Cup in 1974, battling to the finish.