Von Csadek to try major hurdle Jumper chases Aintree, Hunt Club

When nominations close Wednesday for the English Grand National, a familiar name will be in the entry box.

Von Csadek, a Baltimore County-based jumper who won the Maryland Hunt Cup last spring by 40 lengths, is in training for the April 3 race, considered the world's most famous steeplechase.


Contested at 4 miles, 70 yards, over 5-foot-high brush obstacles, the race, which is run at Aintree Race Course in Liverpool, carries a $300,000 purse.

Von Csadek's trainer, Doug Worrall, will be attempting a feat no one has tried before.


He plans to fly the 11-year-old gelding to England a few days before the race, run the horse, and immediately return him to the United States for another try in the Maryland Hunt Cup on April 24.

No horse ever has attempted the English Grand National-Maryland Hunt Cup double in the same season, although horses such as Ben Nevis II and Jay Trump have won both races.

"We're going for the brass ring," Worrall said. "People call Von Csadek the greatest timber horse of all time. So we'll see if he is."

Von Csadek has not raced since May, when he lost his rider, Worrall's 20-year-old son, Patrick, over a fence halfway through the Virginia Gold Cup.

"The horse lost a shoe, then stepped on it, and didn't take off before the fence," Worrall said. "We didn't plan to race him last fall, so he had the summer off. Then I started hacking him in September."

About Dec. 1, Worrall returned Von Csadek to serious training with the English Grand National in mind.

Worrall has scheduled one prep race, a hurdle event at the Warrenton (Va.) Point-to-Point on March 13, before the horse is shipped to England, probably March 29 or 30.

Patrick Worrall will ride Von Csadek in the Grand National if he can make the weight.


He is 6 feet 3 and weighs 165 pounds. He will have to lose about 20 pounds and is working with a sports nutritionist at the University of Virginia, where he is a second-year student, to try to achieve that goal.

"He is training like a marathon runner," his father said. "He now runs about 25 miles a week and will eventually get up to 50 miles per week."

Margaret Worrall, wife of the trainer and mother of the jockey, owns Von Csadek in partnership with her uncle, D. Herbert Sheppard of Baltimore.

She said she is going to "crawl under the bed until it's all over."

Bond set to retire

Bernie Bond, considered a legend among Maryland horsemen, is going to give up training at age 76.


Bond's retirement was reported in an article in the Daily Racing Form on Saturday.

When reached at his home in Towson, Bond said he gradually plans to disband his stable during the next month. One owner, Eugene Ford, is sending one of his horses, Turkish Reason, to trainer Ron Cartwright.

"I have emphysema and arthritis so bad I can't walk," Bond said. "I just can't do the job anymore."

Bond's assistant, Graham Motion, was at Laurel yesterday, saddling two Bond runners.

Motion, who had just returned from a week's vacation in the Virgin Islands, said he plans to take out a trainer's license and hopefully train for some of Bond's clients.

Bond developed such horses as Cure The Blues and Sham Say into nationally known stakes runners. During his 50-year career, Bond's horses won more than 2,200 races and more than $14 million in purses.