BOSTON, Va.--Kathy Neilson saddled two winners at Rappahannock Hunt Point-to-Point on March 7, including Highway Prince in a very tightly contested Maiden Timber.
Armata Stables' Highway Prince (Ire), ridden by Eddie Keating, was up close throughout the race and just won by a head over G1 hurdle winner Swansea Mile, owned by Rosbrian Farm, trained by Ricky Hendriks and ridden by Archie MacAuley, who was making his first start over timber.
"Highway Prince was a point-to-point winner in Ireland that we got from John Redmond," said Neilson. "He had won a point-to-point on fast ground in Ireland, so we suspected he'd make a good transition to racing here. After the winter, he came around. He's not a very big horse, but he's very athletic."
"I was surprised he won," said Neilson. "I though Ricky's horse was a very nice horse. I was happy for Eddie. That was his first race back after missing all of last fall."
Highway Prince won the 2 1/2 mile race in 5:20 3/5, the fastest time of the day. with Larry Levy's Easy Exit third and First Friday, trained by Doug Fout flying at the end to finish fourth and just miss the win.
IRVIN NAYLOR'S Withoutmoreado (Ire) , ridden by Neilson's daughter Skylar McKenna, won the Lady Timber, going away in 5:29 1/5 to score over Sweet Talking Guy, owned, trained and ridden by Erin Swope.
"Again, Withoutmoreado was a point-to-point horse, but he ran in England," said Neilson. "He struggled with the transition here. He fell in his first race over here."
"I was so nervous," said Neilson. "That was the longest five minutes of my life. But Skylar and Withoutmoreado had schooled a lot together, and he jumped great."
Rappahannock was run over a new course on a farm owned by racehorse owner/trainer Layy Levy after a 12 year hiatus.
It's a really nice venue," said Neilson. "The course was a little immature in spots, with the grass needing another year, but it was beautifully maintained and rolled."
"It's a lovely setting," she said. "You drive down a long driveway with the Blue Ridge Mountains as a backdrop. Spectators could park on the hills around the course."
"There was a lot of jumping, with 18 or 19 fences on the 2 1/2 mile course," said Neilson. "There was a good turnout for the races."
Neilson's sister Sanna saddled her own Lawn Ranger, ridden by her son Parker Hendriks, to win the only other jumping race on the car, the Amateur and Novice Rider Timber.
Lawn Ranger pulled away to win in 5:32 2/5 over Hollywood Strike, owned by Naylor, trained by Kathy Neilson and ridden by Keating, with Angelos Walk, owned, trained and ridden by Matthew Bright, finishing third.
Georgie Hyphen (Ire), owned by Terry Whittier, trained by David M. Bourke and ridden by Willie McCarthy, won the 1 1/4 Open Flat in 2:17 4/5, with Silverton Hill LLC's Bodes Well (Ire), trained by Leslie Young and ridden by James Slater, winning the second division of the Open Flat in 2:26 4/5, while Rosbrian Farm's Stooshie, trained by Hendriks and ridden by MacAuley, won the 1 1/4 mile Maiden Flat in 2:28 4/5.