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Barnacle Bill cruises to victory in $30,000 Georgia Cup feature

Posted: April 9, 2018 2:14 p.m.
Updated: April 10, 2018 1:00 a.m.

The Fields Stable’s Barnacle Bill, always well placed under Jack Doyle, moved to the lead on Kingston Downs’ final turn, burst away to a five-length advantage at the last fence, and drew away steadily to a 15 3/4-length victory in the $30,000 Georgia Cup, the featured ratings handicap of Saturday’s inaugural Georgia Steeplechase.

Rosbrian Farm’s Officer Sydney, the Georgia Cup’s 158-pound highweight, finished second under Ross Geraghty, 6 1/2 lengths clear of KMSN Stable’s Able Archer in third with Kieran Norris. Gillian Johnston’s With Rhythm, who set the early pace under Sean McDermott, finished fourth.

Barnacle Bill, an Irish-bred trained by Elizabeth Voss, ran the Georgia Cup’s two miles in 3:45 3/5 on firm turf at the Atlanta-area course.

The Georgia Cup, for horses with National Steeplechase Association ratings of 120 or lower, was the second consecutive victory for Barnacle Bill, who won an International Gold Cup maiden hurdle by seven lengths last October after two consecutive close second-place finishes.

The victory was Doyle’s third of the young NSA season as he  held his position atop the jockey standings by wins.

Ricky Hendriks trained the winners of two of the afternoon’s four races and moved into second place by both wins and earnings. Jonathan Sheppard, with four wins, leads by victories, and Julie Gomena, who trains $150,000 Marion duPont Scott Colonial Cup winner Balance the Budget, leads the earnings table.

Hendriks won the afternoon’s opener, a $15,000 maiden claiming hurdle, with Debra Kachel’s Gotta Get Away (Michael Mitchell), who finished a half-length ahead of Rosbrian Farm’s Cheers to Us (Ross Geraghty), also trained by Hendriks.  The Pennsylvania-based horseman took the second race, a $30,000 Sport of Kings maiden hurdle, with Eve Ledyard’s Go Get the Basil, who had Geraghty up. Hendriks now has three wins on the season.

A $20,000 Filly and Mare Maiden Hurdle race was won by Beverly Steinman’s Bullet Start, trained by Doug Fout who gave Kieran Norris a leg up. Cap’s Vow, trained in Camden by dave Washer, and ridden by Doyle was second. Cherished Prize, trained in Camden by Kate Dalton and ridden by her husband, Bernie, was third.

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