Wind, rain and Hurricane Hole dominated the 38th running of the historic Rokeby Bowl today.
The wind and the rain came from the sky-Hurricane Hole from the Green Spring Valley of Maryland.
Mrs. T. F. Cochran Jr.'s 9-year-old gelding withstood Estremadura's furious closing rush to win the 3 1/2-mile timber steeplechase by two lengths. Encuentro III was the only other entry to complete the 21-jump course.
"It was a perfect race," said 17-yearold Henry Cochran, a senior at Baltimore's Gilman School who handled the Maryland-bred chaser in its biggest win in a short but successful career over timber.
"He was a little rank at first but he settled down after the first half-mile. From then on in, it was his best race."
Trained by its owner, Hurricane Hole had made his first shart in this same race here last year but ran out of the money. He then broke his maiden at My Lady's Manor and won again at the Little Grand National, both in Maryland.
"We took him out then for the year," said Cochran, "and this is his first start this year. . . We aren't pushing. . . I guess our next start will be Marlborough and then maybe the Maryland Hunt Cup.
Hurricane Hole beat a good field in the Rokeby, the first of Virginia's big three timber races. The others are the Middleburg Bowl at Middleburg next Sunday and the Eustis Cup at Oatlands in April.
Virginia's two top horses from last year were in today's race; Estremadura, under Mike DuPont, turned in a fine race over an "extremely deep" course to finish second, while Ross Pearce pulled up Bel Esprit II halfway through the race.
Harry Wight, who earlier in the day won the Oakley Plate with Too Far Gone, pulled up Bannecheck II in the feature. Brian Matthews on Chacal finished but was disqualified for not taking the last jump.