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Father and son join forces to win the steeplechase event

F. Bruce Miller trained Best Attack, ridden to victory in the National Hunt Cup by Chip Miller.

Chip Miller wanted more than a win at the 77th running of the Radnor Hunt Races.

For the Unionville native, a win would take a backseat to being victorious atop a horse his father, F. Bruce Miller, trained.

The win almost seemed secondary as the father and son paired up to win the third leg of steeplechasing's Triple Crown - the National Hunt Cup - yesterday afternoon for a $75,000 purse.

Moreover, the elder Miller was able to watch Best Attack, a horse he trained, carry his 37-year-old son to a monumental 199th career win. Only seven jockeys in steeplechase history have eclipsed the 200-win plateau.

"Shh, don't say anything. You don't want to mess it up," Chip Miller said.

The win at the Radnor Hunt Races, which benefits the Brandywine Conservancy, was surreal for the younger Miller. He was quick to credit Best Attack and his father for the victory.

"He's the first one in the barn every day. Not too many people can say that, especially not many 72-year-olds," Miller said of his father.

The jockey said the slow-starting Best Attack held a strong position for the duration of the race, which is held on a 23/8-mile, hilly track. But the 4-year-old fended off the field down the stretch.

Miller's endurance, his father said, was key.

"The two previous races, the early leader never held on. There was a lot of track left," the elder Miller said. "But Chip made sure he had a lot of horse left to win."

Best Attack was the third horse this year to win a leg of the Steeplechase Triple Crown, which has never had a three-race sweep.

For Betty Moran, the chairwoman of the Radnor Cup Races, there was another leg of the Triple Crown still waiting to be run. Moran owns Brushwood Stable, where Hard Spun, the Kentucky Derby runner-up and the third-place finisher at yesterday's Preakness, was bred.

Moran's involvement in the Radnor Hunt Races has kept her from ever attending the Preakness. "But my television at home will be good enough," she said.

Miller's win in the National Hunt Cup marked just one of six on the day. In other races, Divine Fortune paced the field in the Milfern Cup, while Rum Squall took home the Morris H. Dixon Steeplechase title.

In the final three races, River Bed claimed the Mary E. Carrier Steeplechase crown, and Desert Vigil and Seeyouattheevent won the Henry Collins Steeplechase and the Radnor Hunt Cup, respectively.