Shangani (right): lands the Greatwood Gold CupPICTURE: Mark Cranham (racingpost.com/photos)
Shangani battles to
Gold Cup victory
Report: Newbury, Saturday
StanJames.com Supporting Greatwood Gold Cup Handicap Chase (Grade 3) 2m4f, 5yo+
SHANGANI came out on top of a scintillating battle with Rebel Rebellion in the Greatwood Gold Cup after the two came together in the closing stages of the 2m4f contest.
In what was proved another Saturday success for in-from trainer Venetia Williams, who earlier landed the veterans' handicap chase with Summery Justice, Shangani hit the front travelling into the home straight and appeared on-course for an easy victory only for top-weight Rebel Rebellion to fight back approaching the final fence.
After jumping the last side-by-side, Rebel Rebellion drew clear by half a length but Shangani had a little more left in the tank and despite the Paul Nicholls-trained nine-year-old appearing to cut across the mount of Tom Scudamore, the eight-year-old shouldered his way past and squeezed up the inside rail to score by a length and a quarter.
"For a stride or two I thought we were heading towards the water but Ryan saw it just in time," said Scudamore. "It's very difficult with an obstacle like that. His horse was lugging on top of me."
Ryan Mahon, rider of Rebel Rebellion said: "He was lugging a little bit left and I haven't corrected him early enough."
Victory for Shangani all but guarantees a place in the Byrne Group Plate at Cheltenham, for which he is a general 16-1 shot.
"He will go for the Byrne Group Plate now," said Williams. "We were worried he wouldn't get in but he's picked up a a 5lb penalty and a £50,000 race."