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Gregg Ryan, MFH Back in the Winner’s Circle at Orange County

och15.amnov hurdle.leesAmateur/Novice Rider Hurdle Race (l-r): Special Guy (Ben Swope up) was second by a length to winner Spy In The Sky and Gregg Ryan, MFH.  /  Douglas Lees photo

The Orange County Hounds Point-to-Point Races were held on Locust Hill Farm, Middleburg, Virginia, on Sunday, March 29, 2015, perhaps the nicest spring day for racegoers yet this season.

Gregg Ryan, MFH of the Piedmont Fox Hounds and the Snickersville Hounds in Virginia, marked his return to the racecourse by winning the Amateur Novice Rider Hurdle Race on his veteran, Spy In The Sky. Ryan allowed Ben Swope on Special Guy to set the pace for much of the race, before pulling away with five furlongs to go. Special Guy, as he did at Warrenton, made a late rush, but not enough.

Spy In The Sky is trained by Eva Smithwick, Gregg’s Joint-Master at Snickersville. Trained in years past by Jimmy Day, Spy in the Sky won the $100,000 A.P. Smithwick Memorial Handicap at Saratoga in 2012, returning long odds of 25-1 to the lucky ticket holders there.

och15.nov timber2.leesSecond Division, Novice Timber (l-r): Saint Dynaformer (Jeff Murphy up) finished a half length behind the winner, More Tea Vicar and Jacob Roberts. / Douglas Lees photo

Trainer Neil Morris and rider Jacobs Roberts teamed up to sweep both divisions of the Novice Timber Race on two of the Morris entries: Otter Racing’s Le Chevalier in the first, and Kinross Farm’s More Tea Vicar in the second.

och15.open hurdle.leesOrchestra Leader with Brendan Brook aboard won the Open Hurdles. / Douglas Lees photo

Trainers Jimmy Day and Jack Fisher saddled the winners of the Open Races—Hurdle and Timber respectively. In the Open Hurdle Race, Bruce Smart’s Orchestra Leader, Brendan Brooks up, led all the way with Jeff Murphy pulling up Teddy Mulligan’s Getaway as he did at Blue Ridge when bested by Manacor.

The Open Timber Race was determined by just a head, as Straight To It, leading all the way under Sean McDermott, held off a driving Schoolhouse Woods at the wire. Straight To It is trained by Jack Fisher and owned by Sheila Williams and Andre Brewster.

Posted April 4, 2015

och15.open timber.leesOpen Timber winner Straight To It (Sean McDermott up) leads Schoolhouse Woods (Jacob Roberts up) at the last fence. / Douglas lees photo