Cinzano won his third consecutive timber race of the young point-to-point season in the George Greenhalgh Memorial today, but for the first time Randy Rouse's speedy Uruguayan import ate another horse's dust.
"I dropped my weight pads on the first turn," Randy Waterman told stewards as he dismounted Private Gary after crossing the finish line two lengths ahead of Cinzano.
Waterman not only lost the pads but automatically lost the race, one which he had won in 1978 on Champerty and in 1979 aboard Joe Finn.
"Some days you have to take them that way," said Rouse, who had played cat and mouse all day whether to run in the race. "I guess you'd call it backing into a win."
Cinzano had run well but his jumping was better than in previous victories at Casanova and Rappahannock. He traversed 15 of Woodley Farm's 17 unyielding timber fences with ease.
"We hit the last two jumps hard," Rouse said, "especially the last one . . . it took him some time to get back into gear.
By that time Private Gary, a promising 6-year-old, had the lead and was able to beat off Cinzano down the long stretch.
A crowd of more than 5,000 saw Cinzano take the lead from Chadds Ford at the third fence and pull away to what seemed like an easy victory. But Waterman raced Private Gary skillfully and on the final mile of the three-mile race eased him into contention. Going into the final fence Private Gary was on top and it was "just bad racing luck" that he was unable to claim the win.