Scenes & Winners From International Gold Cup Day October 24.

Great Meadow played host to eight steeplechase and two flat races Saturday October 24 as part of the annual International Gold Cup card in The Plains. Like many other events in this challenging year of the Covid pandemic, no spectators were allowed. A total of $135,000 in purse monies were distributed.

Rebecca Shepherd’s Curve of Stones captured the $25,000 International Gold Cup with Barry Foley up. The 9-year-old Arch gelding came to Great Meadow fresh off a victory in the $40,000 National Sporting Library and Museum Cup Stakes October 10 at Middleburg. David Bourke trains the Cup champ, who has ten wins overall now and a bankroll of $218,450.

National Steeplechase Association sanctioned events also took place this fall in Charlottesville at the Foxfield and at the Middleburg Fall Races at Glenwood Park. The annual Montpelier Hunt Races, which were scheduled for November 7, have been cancelled.

The Gold Cup card finished off the 2020 live race calendar in Virginia which featured delayed spring NSA meets at Middleburg and Great Meadow, an abbreviated summer thoroughbred meet at Colonial Downs in New Kent that included a handful of jump races, and two harness meets at the Shenandoah Cojunty Fairgrounds in Woodstock — a 3-day VHHA Matinee Meet and the 10-day Shenandoah Downs season.

Here are some pics from the Gold Cup card courtesy of photogragher Douglas Lees and several supplied by the VEA.

Sun tried to break through clouds and a light mist early on Gold Cup morning.
Curve of Stones tackles a jump en route to his Gold Cup win. The 9-year-old Arch gelding has 10 wins overall.
Curve of Stones after his Gold Cup victory with trainer David Bourke.
Starter Graham Alcock at the beginning of the backstretch, before he sent the fourth race off at a 2 1/8 miles distance..
River Deep (far left) won the Virginia-bred/sired training flat race. Bred and owned by Morgan’s Ford Farm, the 6-year-old Arch gelding has earned over $300,000.
River Deep and rider Gerard Galligan after winning the training flat. River Deep has won three Virginia-bred stakes — the Hansel, Bert Allen & Edward P. Evans.
Douglas Road (#1) clears an early jump in the $20,000 Maiden Hurdle. The 6-year-old The Factor gelding earned his fourth win and has earnings now of $153,654.

#9 Anticipating won the afternoon’s richest race — a $30,000 Ratings Handicap Hurdle. it was trainer Jonathan Sheppard’s first of two wins on the card.
Rider Parker Hendriks leads Anticipating to the winners circle. The victory was the first for Hendriks at a NSA sanctioned meet. He won again later with He’ll Do.
Steeplethon winner #7 Invocation passes through a water obtstacle en route to his third win in the last four starts. The 7-year-old Intense Focus gelding previously won at the Middleburg Spring and Fall Races..
Riders attended a socially distanced meeting before the first race.
Galway Kid charges to the wire in the day’s second Ratings Handicap Hurdle under Darren Nagle. Repeat Repeat was second and Family Tree finished third.
11-year-old Irish-bred Vintage Vinnie and rider Archie Macauley were best in the Apprentice Rider Timber.
Be Counted and rider Colin Smith prevailed in an Apprentice Rider Hurdle. The 6-year-old gelding is a son of former Virginia Derby winner Gio Ponti.
Choo Choo (green silks, yellow cap) leads in the Apprentice Rider Training Flat. Bryan Cullinane led the 5-year-old son of English Channel, another past Virginia Derby winner, to victory.