Wakanda wins £100,000 Ascot black-type event for Westerner

Wakanda (Westerner) winning the The Sodexo Silver Cup Handicap Chase (L) at Ascot

Improving six-year-old Wakanda (6g Westerner-Chanson Indienne, by Indian River) made it three out of three this season when winning the Listed £100,000 Sodexo Silver Cup at Ascot on Saturday.

The Westerner gelding, bred in Ireland by Bluegate Stud, brought up trainer Sue Smith’s 1,000th career winner as he fought off some determined opponents to claim the valuable prize.

“He is a very tough, game little horse,” said Smith. “We are delighted with him. He has improved so much. He’s a little star. He is a very economical jumper and Danny’s given him the most fantastic ride. They get on so well.

“He is going to have a break now as he has run three times and won three times. He will probably come back around February but there is nothing mapped out for him. He does need soft ground.”

The victory meant a great deal to rider Danny Cook, who added: “I’m just lucky to ride him. He’s so tough and genuine. He likes to get the front then doesn’t do a lot when he gets there. He waits for them to stack up behind him and then keeps kicking on from the front.

“He gave me a great spin and it was a real thrill to ride him. It’s nice when it comes together.”

Westerner has been having fantastic recent run and also enjoyed black-type success earlier in the week when Queens Wild (5m Westerner-Pepsi Starlet, by Heavenly Manna) won the G3 Kerry Group EBF Mares Novice Chase at Navan on Monday.

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