KENNETT SQUARE, Pa.--With Wendy Hendriks as owner, son Ricky as trainer and grandson McLane as jockey, Officer Sydney's win in the BNY Mellon Wealth Management and Selkirk Partners Apprentice Timber Race in honor of Paddy Neilson was a Hendriks family affair.
And to make it even more of a family affair, it was another of Wendy's grandsons, Parker Hendriks, who placed second by 3 lengths on Sherry Fenwick's As You Like It, trained by Sanna Neilson.
"That was a very special race to win," said Wendy. "Officer Sydney seemed like he was going well the whole time. He jumped really weel. He just flew the two big hedges in front of the stands and the water jump. But McLane said he had a bad jump when he was out of sight up at the top of the course."
"It seemed strange to be there without any spectators," Said Wendy, "Dixon did a beautiful job, the course was perfect. Dixon and Kathy have to be commended for getting it all together."
DIXON STROUD owns the Willowdale grounds and stepped up to help steeplechase owners in this difficult Covid period by putting on a fall meet with three point-to-point races and the one NSA recognized race.
Kathy Neilson put together the beneficiaries that made the race in honor of her father possible.
The timber course at Willowdale includes a number of big, natural steeplechase hedges in its course.
"McLane stayed mid-pack for most of the race," said Ricky. "He gave the horse a beautiful ride."
"George Mahoney and I bought this horse as a 4=year-old from Gordon Elliot in Ireland," said Ricky. "He fell in his last start before this in Saratoga two years ago and he bowed both his front legs."
Ricky got the horse after he bowed.
"Brenda Vance, who works for me, rehabbed the horse and fixed him for me," said Ricky. "It was very special to win the race in honor of Paddy."
Kathy Neilson saddled Nancy A. Reed's Awesome Adrian, ridden by Gerard Galligan, to win the featured point-to-point race, the Black Challenger Open Timber.
All three of the point-to-point races had close finishes, and in the Open Timber it was Awesome Adrian by 1 1/2 lengths in front of Frank A. Bpnsal's Stand Down, trained by Casey Savin and ridden by Eddie Keating.
Buttonwood Farm's The Silent Trainer (Ire), trained by Jonathan Sheppard and ridden by Galligan, won by 1/2 length over Upland Partner's Stand Down, trained by Todd McKenna and ridden by Keating in the Raford Boy Maiden timber.
In the Apple Equpment Apprentice rider Flat race, Withoutdestination, owned by Charles C. Fenwick, trained by Todd Wyatt and ridden by Colin Smith, won over Saigon, owned by Gregory Hawkins, trained by Janet Elliot and ridden by Archie MacAuley.