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Rainiero wins fourth straight in High Hope feature

Posted: May 22, 2012 1:42 p.m.
Updated: May 23, 2012 5:00 a.m.
C-I photo by Tom Didato/

RAINIERO (4) CARRIED MATT MCCARRON to career win number 202 on Sunday in Kentucky. The pair are shown here winning last fall’s Hobkirk Hill in Camden at the Colonial Cup.

Augustin Stables’ Rainiero extended his winning streak to four when he pulled away to a 14 1/4-length victory in the feature race of Sunday’s 45th annual High Hope Steeplechase at Lexington’s Kentucky Horse Park.
High Hope Stables’ Tizallaboutme, trained in Camden by Arch Kingsley, who had Willie McCarthy up, finished second in the $20,000 starter allowance for horses which had run for a claiming price of $20,000 or less in 2011 or this year. Manown Kisor’s Sumo Power took fourth. Rainiero, a 10-year-old gelding who was bred in Chile, ran the hurdle race’s 2 1/8 miles in 3:59.60.
Trained by Richard Valentine, Rainiero was ridden by Matt McCarron, who collected his 202nd career victory. A 20-year steeplechase veteran, McCarron currently ranks ninth all-time by victories.
Rainiero kept alive a streak that began when he was entered for a $15,000 claiming price and won the Virginia Fall’s Bon Nouvel optional allowance on Oct. 1, his first start of 2011. He subsequently won an optional allowance at the Montpelier Hunt Races in Virginia on Nov. 5 and closed out the season with a score in the Hobkirk Hill starter allowance in last November’s Colonial Cup.
Kingsley led off the three-chase High Hope card by saddling Magalen O. Bryant’s Royale for a win in the $15,000 maiden hurdle. McCarthy was up on the 6-year-old Kingmambo gelding which won for the first time over fences on his fifth try.
Royale won the 2 1/8-mile chase by 2 ¾ lengths over Bold Adventure. The winning time was 4:13.40.
The victory was the fifth of the National Steeplechase Association season for Kingsley, who has sent out 21 starters. His jumpers have come home second five times and third on four occasions, having earned $97,950 in the process. Kingsley ranks fourth among all NSA conditioners in wins and fifth in earnings this spring.
Saturday in Malvern, Pa., Cashel Stud’s Ballet Boy, returning to the races after a more than 10-month absence, surged powerfully over the final fences and turned back a game Gustavian to win the $50,000 National Hunt Cup, the hurdle feature race of the 82nd annual Radnor Hunt Races.
Trained by Tom Voss and ridden by Willie McCarthy, Ballet Boy finished a neck ahead of Hickory Tree Stables’ Gustavian in the race for novices, or horses in their first seasons of racing over fences. Armata Stable’s Cornhusker, also trained by Voss, finished third. Ballet Boy ran the National Hunt Cup’s 2 3/8 miles in 4:36.60 on firm ground.
Ballet Boy had won the Vita C. Thompson allowance hurdle at Radnor a year ago, and he then finished seventh in the William Entenmann Novice Stakes at Belmont Park on July 3, his last previous start before the National Hunt Cup.
“The eight-year-old Irish-bred gelding by leading sire Sadler’s Wells trained well up to the National Hunt Cup and followed the early pace laid down by The Fields Stable’s Wanganui, also trained by Voss. On the first circuit of the right-handed Radnor Hunt course, Wanganui met a fence awkwardly and dislodged jockey Danielle Hodsdon.
Anne Pape’s Fog Island took over the pace before Ballet Boy and Gustavian took up the battle after the last fence. Ballet Boy opened a clear lead in midstretch, but Gustavian and jockey Carl Rafter fought back to narrow the gap at the finish line.
In the $40,000 Radnor Hunt Cup over timber fences, Arcadius Stable’s Delta Park came back on a week’s rest to win by 1 1/4 lengths over pacesetter Four Schools. The Bryant-owned G’day G’day finished third, 14 1/4 lengths farther back. Ridden by Darren Nagle, Delta Park ran the Radnor Hunt Cup’s 3 1/4 miles in 6:47.40 on firm turf.
Delta Park is trained by Jack Fisher.
Ridden by Robbie Walsh, Four Schools laid down a solid pace and opened a sizable lead on the second circuit of the Radnor course. G’day G’day closed ground on the final circuit and appeared ready to bid for the lead before falling back. Ballet Boy took up the chase and gamely overtook Four Schools in the final furlong and held on for the victory.
Walsh said he thought he had a chance to win at the final fence. “He just has that one pace, and he got caught,” he said.


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