There was a giant picnic at the Radnor Hunt Club on Saturday, where about 20,000 horse lovers gathered on a picturesque day to eat, drink, and be merry.

Of course, the 81st annual Radnor Hunt Races had something to do with the gathering of men, women, and children of all ages.

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In the featured event - the National Hunt Cup - 7-2 favorite Tripleken led for the first two laps of the three-lap event. But he was nowhere to be seen when Complete Zen won a photo finish over All Together in 4 minutes, 54.80 seconds.

Tripleken, ridden by Brian Crowley, was swallowed up by the pack just before the last turn.

Crowley took a spill during a later race and was unavailable for comment. Complete Zen was guided by Richard Boucher, who was aboard a winner for the third time on the day.

"I just got lucky," said Boucher. "On the backside, Tripleken seemed to get spooked. We got up real close on him, and he juked like he saw something. We went right by him, and didn't see him again."

Tripleken is trained by Jonathan Sheppard, whose thoroughbred Dyna Waltz took third place in the Gallorette Stakes at Pimlico as part of the Preakness undercard.

The total purse money for the Radnor Hunt Races was $180,000. Proceeds from the event are earmarked for Brandywine Conservancy, which is devoted to conserving the cultural and natural resources of the Brandywine River watershed and similar areas.

Large numbers of spectators lined the fences to watch the six steeplechase races that took place, while others had seats in the grandstand on the opposite side of the W. Burling Cocks Memorial Racecourse.

Numerous catering tents extravagantly serviced the masses that lined up. Others tailgated at their cars, and some occupied the tables with umbrellas that were set up around the venue.

A huge television screen made it possible to see the races from all corners.

The first race of the day was the $25,000 Milfern Cup.

As in the competitions that would follow, the entrants had to be at least 4 years old, and it was Class Indian who came in first by a nose after going neck-to-neck down the backstretch with Worried Man.

Class Indian, ridden by Boucher, won in 4:40.05.

"What made the difference was staying inside and getting a clean ride to the wire," Boucher said.

Next up was the $30,000 Vita C. Thompson Memorial Steeplechase, which did the Milfern one better when three of the seven contestants battled it out the end.

It was Battle Boy who came in first at 4:58.31, just ahead of Grinding Speed and Port Morsbey.

"I was on a faster horse," winning jockey Paddy Young said with a grin when he was asked how he was able to pull out the win.

The Radnor Hunt Cup, which had a 31/4-mile course, was the only race of the day that did not go the distance of the National Hunt Cup.

The $40,000 first prize was taken by Won Wild Bird, with Boucher aboard, in 7:05.80.

After the National Hunt Cup took place, the $25,000 James Moran Jr. Steeplechase ($25,000), and $10,000 Henry Collins Steeplechase completed the schedule of events.

Mabou, with Young as the jockey, easily won the James Moran in 4:47.40. In that race, Crowley's horse, Lake Placid, was out in front when it stumbled on the 10th fence and threw the rider off.

Crowley was transported to the hospital as a precautionary measure, though a concussion had not been ruled out.

In the Henry Collins, Dance Faster and Embarrassed tested each other until the end, when Dance Faster took the victory in 5:06.40 as Young joined Boucher with a hat trick.

Contact staff writer Kevin Tatum at 215-854-2583 or ktatum@phillynews.com.