Maryland trainer Tom Voss saddled Ironfist to win the four-mile Virginia Gold Cup on Saturday, the US-leg of the Marlborough Million series.

The victory came as sweet compensation for Voss, who one week earlier had seen his Welter Weight beaten into second by Solo Lord in the Maryland Hunt Cup.

Defying heat which touched 90 degrees, Ironfist, an improving eight-year-old, made all the running under jockey Roger Horgan and beat Bredesen Moe (Gus Brown) by a head after the pair had pulled clear of six other rivals.

Atomistic was third under Chip Miller.

Roger Horgan said: “I knew if it came to a fight there is no horse tougher than Ironfist. He met the last fence perfectly in stride and took off running, and then fought his way to the line. It feels like a dream come true for Tom and me.”

Owner John Filbert collected the $25,000 first prize – he and Voss now have the option of preparing Ironfist for an attempt on next year’s Marlborough Cup timber race.

If successful, the chestnut would collect a bonus of $100,000, something Saluter achieved in 1998.

For full report see Horse & Hound on sale Thursday 10 May 2001