CHARLOTTESVILLE, SEPT. 30 -- Ricky Hendriks and Chacote have hit the comeback trail, taking the featured $15,000 Daniel Van Clief Memorial hurdle at the Foxfield Fall Races today.

Former leading jockey Hendriks, who was sidelined by injury much of last year, kept Andrew Miller's bay gelding well off the pace set by Gregoriance and Namath for the first 1 1/4 miles.

At the ninth fence, Rokeby Stables' Molotov surged ahead, and Chacote was hot on his heels. Hendriks made his decisive move just prior to the final fence, swinging Chacote clear of the front runners, on the outside. "I have a hard time explaining to the trainer {Ronald Houghton} that he {Chacote} wants to come around the horses," said Hendriks after the race.

The Argentinian-bred Chacote had racked up three victories at Fair Hill, Atlantic City and Saratoga before an infection laid him up. This was his comeback race. "It was a nice safe trip, and he jumped very well," Hendriks said.

The three-mile E.D. Vere Nicoll Memorial timber race is the first leg of the new Virginia timber series. Brushwood Stables' Irish-bred Tom Miller and Irish-born jockey Anne Moran led the charge down the home stretch, winning by 1 1/2 lengths.

Tom Miller, who won both the New Jersey and Pennsylvania Hunt Cups in 1986, trounced proven winners The Hard Word, Prasina Matia and Exuberant Speed. The 13-year-old horse was trained by Michael Moran, husband of the jockey.

Trainer Frank Racquet of Franklin, Tenn., saddled the first two finishers in Foxfield's $12,500 allowance hurdle. They were Foxgrove Stables' Chilean-bred Olmo and Charles Martin Jr.'s British-bred Ninja.RESULTS

$10,000 Buck Mountain, 2 1/8 mi. maiden hurdle, Time: 3:59 3/5. 1, Mihmaz (Graham Alcock); 2, Eton (Jonathan Smart); 3, Thallium (Jeff Teter).

$1,000 Solliden, 2 mi. flat race, 3:10 4/5. 1, Jive With Five (Teter); 2, Work That Way (Patrick Cooney); 3, Penascal (Blythe Miller).

$5,000 Prince Michel Vineyards, 2 1/8 mi. maiden hurdle, 4:01 3/5. 1, Naskra Express (Victoria Schlesinger); 2, Zelandes (F. Hill Parker); 3, Greet The Dawn (Nicholas Schweizer).

$12,500 Blue Ridge, 2 1/8 mi. allowance hurdle, 4:00. Olmo (Gerry Newman); 2, Ninja (Teter); 3, Hurricane John (Cooney).

$7,500 E.D. Vere Nicoll Memorial, 3 mi. open timber, 5:36 4/5. 1, Tom Miller (Anne Moran); 2, Exuberant Speed (Colvin Ryan); 3, Prasina Matia (Charles Fenwick Jr.)

$15,000 Daniel Van Clief Memorial, 2 1/4 mi. hurdle, 4:13 2/5. 1, Chacote (Ricky Hendriks); 2, Sidler (Kirk Griggs); 3, Gregoriance (Ryan).