Wakanda Lands Peter Marsh at Haydock in Strong Staying Performance
The Peter Marsh Chase is another northern handicap that Sue Smith has an excellent record in, and she improved that at the weekend. Stable favourite Wakanda won the race on Saturday, giving Smith four victories in the contest, and he did it thanks to a fantastic staying performance to power home after the final fence.
After running well at Wetherby on Boxing Day, he looked primed for a big run here and we fancied him back on Thursday last week, when he was available at double figure odds. He won on Saturday at 6/1, showing many people jumped on board and took advantage of the odds on offer.
Jockey Danny Cook gave him an exceptional ride on Saturday afternoon, keeping him in the race but ensuring that there was some still left in the tank for what was a thrilling finish. A number of horses remained in touch with two fences to go and after jumping the last fence, the result was far from assured for Cook and Wakanda. However, he asked his horse for one more big effort and the pair moved away nicely from the field to take the race in style.
The day nearly ended in style for Sue Smith, who was a photo finish away from landing the final race on the card at Haydock, but despite that she continues to be in good form. She has a number of top quality older horses and those will no doubt continue to represent her well in the north, and there is a chance that she could send a handful down to Cheltenham for the festival in March.
Her horses are certainly worth following over the coming weeks though, whether that is in the north or elsewhere, she certainly knows how to train a big race winner that is for sure.