Landslide Farm's Ivory Poacher, coming off a near record-setting victory at My Lady's Manor, is the clear favorite to win Saturday's 99th running of the Maryland Hunt Cup at Worthington Farms in Glyndon.
Ann Fenwick trains the 10-year-old gelding, who is the only starter in the 10-horse field to have won the grueling 4-mile race over 22 timber fences.
Only three other Hunt Cup veterans -- last year's runner-up Florida Law as well as Hello Hal and Reputed Dancer that were fifth and sixth, respectively, in 1994 -- are in the field. The rest are first-time starters.
Once again Sanna Neilson, 26, has the mount on Ivory Poacher. The amateur from Unionville, Pa., is trying for her third Hunt Cup victory in five years. She won in 1991 with Tom Bob, 1993 with Ivory Poacher and was fourth last year aboard Shining Beacon.
Among her competitors are her father, Louis "Paddy" Neilson III, 53, a three-time Hunt Cup winner who rides Reputed Dancer. The horse won in the Eustis Cup at the Oatlands races in Leesburg, Va., last weekend.