Trainer Charlie Fenwick has a reputation for bringing potential Maryland Hunt Cup horses along leisurely, so he waited patiently while Dosdi won a series of smaller races. Today they went after the big one.
After four years of prepping, Dosdi took his final examination today and won the 83rd edition of the Hunt Cup by 20 lengths over Rockbeau. Perfect Cast was another half length out.
Hurricane Hole was fourth and Cancottage fifth. Mod Man ran into the woods after falling at the 16th fence.
"He really relaxed after the seventh," said Fenwick, who became the first rider to win three consecutive Hunt Cups since Mike Smithwick, in 1948-50.Fenwick won aboard Ben Nevis II the last two years.
The English bred Cancottage jumped to the lead under Broderick Munro-Wilson at the seventh fence. It was the only time Dosdi was behind. The two horses went at the eighth fence together and Dosdi was back on top on landing.
Cancottage kept up the pressure until he fell at the 19th fence. Munro-Wilson remounted and came in fifth.
Rockbeau, the unheralded Pennsylvania horse under Buzz Hannum, caught Perfect Cast at the wire with a closing drive. It was a disappointing finale for Perfect Cast. The little mare has been runner-up in the race the past two years. "It definitely is her last race," said trainer-rider Turney McKnight.
Toinette Jackson, the first woman to ride in the Hunt Cup since Cathy Kusner broke the barrier in 1971 with a fifth-place finish on Whackerjack, was bringing Mod Man into a challenging position when the horse clipped the rail and went down.