Sky Bet Chase
£80,000 added, 5yo plus,
2m 7f 214yds, Class 1
|Saturday 27th January 2018|
1 Wakanda 8/1
2 Warriors Tale 12/1
3 L'Ami Serge 13/8F
13 ran NR: Pilgrims Bay Distances: hd, ½l, nk
Time: 6m 9.40s (slow by 15.40s)
Wakanda wins it with a late surge under Henry Brooke
The Sue Smith-trained Wakanda sports the colours of Margaret Scholey and her late husband Ray, who died earlier this week.
It is 14 years since Truckers Tavern carried the same silks to runner-up spot in the Cheltenham Gold Cup behind Best Mate and while Wakanda might not be at that level, he has been a fine servant to his connections and was an 8-1 shot to snap a long losing streak dating back over two years in the hands of Henry Brooke.
Runner-up in the Rowland Meyrick Chase at Wetherby on Boxing Day, he looked booked for minor honours again jumping the final fence, but lunged late to get up and beat Warriors Tale by a head, with 13-8 favourite L'Ami Serge and the long-absent Long House Hall close up in third and fourth respectively.
Harvey Smith, assistant to his wife, said: "It's a fitting tribute to Ray. He's been a great supporter of National Hunt racing in north and we could do with a few more people like him."
Asked whether he felt Wakanda could be a Grand National contender, he said: "I don't think so. He's not big enough."
Brooke said: "He's getting a bit lairy in his old age and he was backing off his fences.
"After jumping the last I knew I'd finish well but I didn't know if I'd get there. Thankfully he got up in the dying strides.
"That's the first time the horse has won in over two years so it definitely won't do him any harm.
"His owner passed away earlier this week, so it's sad circumstances. It's a shame he couldn't be here to see this but I'm sure he's looking down on us."
Sky Bet Chase
(Formerly The Great Yorkshire Chase)
£80,000 added, 5yo plus, 2m 7f 214yds, Class 1
Going: Soft, Good to Soft in places
|Pos||D||Horse SP||Jockey Weight||Trainer||Age|
|1st||Wakanda (IRE) 8/1||Henry Brooke
|Mrs S J Smith||9|
|2nd||hd||Warriors Tale 12/1||Sean Bowen
|P F Nicholls||9|
|3rd||½||L'Ami Serge (IRE) 13/8f||D N Russell
|N J Henderson||8|
|4th||nk||Long House Hall (IRE) 18/1||Harry Skelton
|5th||1¾||Federici 25/1||B Hughes
|D McCain Jnr||9|
|6th||9||Label Des Obeaux (FR) 20/1||Wayne Hutchinson
|7th||9||Minella On Line (IRE) 33/1||Conor Shoemark
|8th||7||Flying Angel (IRE) 6/1||Sam Twiston-Davies
|N A Twiston-Davies||7|
|9th||½||Vibrato Valtat (FR) 16/1||L P Aspell
|Miss E C Lavelle||9|
|10th||2¼||Mustmeetalady (IRE) 20/1||R P McLernon
|11th||12||Thumb Stone Blues (IRE) 7/1||C Gethings (3)
|K C Bailey||8|
|PU||Tenor Nivernais (FR) 33/1||Aidan Coleman
|Miss V Williams||11|
|PU||Coologue (IRE) 16/1||Jonathan Burke
|C E Longsdon||9|
|NR||Pilgrims Bay (IRE)||James Best
|N P Mulholland||8|