Venetia Williams has never been afraid of sending her horses on long journeys and the Herefordshire handler plundered the feature prize at Catterick with Shangani.
Williams is enjoying her best season for nearly a decade and is operating at a near-20% strike-rate. Her fortunes surprisingly dipped after winning the Grand National with Mon Mome in 2009 but they are well and truly on the rise again now. She houses numerous young chasers on the up, as well as a live Gold Cup outsider in Katenko, and, along with stable jockey Aidan Coleman, they will not want the season to end.
Shangani won at Sandown just nine days ago and despite a 9lb rise the seven-year-old had no trouble in seeing off Mr Syntax as the 7-4 favourite in the £12,000 Weatherbys Bank Handicap Chase.
Coleman said: "He was very good at Sandown so he was entitled to come and win this. It's good prize-money, so fair play to Venetia and the team at home for spotting this race.
"We've been very lucky up north this season and we've had a few winners at Musselburgh so we've been rewarded for travelling. This horse is very versatile, he made the running the last day, but only because nothing else wanted to. Ideally he wants to be ridden like this - dropped in with a lead. He's a safe jumper and is improving nicely."
Trainer Michael Smith has a nice prospect on his hands in the shape of Imperial Vic, who defied a double penalty in the racinguk.com Novices´ Hurdle. Ridden by Danny Cook, Imperial Vic stayed on strongly to win by two lengths as the 6-4 favourite.
Smith said: "Whatever he does this year is a bonus. We had him in at Doncaster last week in a handicap but I decided to come here with a double penalty instead. The ground was no problem and I'm really excited about running him over fences."
Barry Keniry was in double form with David O'Meara's White Fusion (8-1) in the Cheltenham Preview Evening March 1st Handicap Hurdle and the Simon Shirley-Beavan-trained Rapidolyte De Ladalka in the Weatherbys Hamilton Insurance Novices´ Handicap Chase.
Shirley-Beavan's chaser holds an entry in the four-miler at Cheltenham but a change in the rules has not worked in his favour for that contest, according to his trainer, who said: "They let horses who have won over hurdles run in it now and I'd have thought they'd have too much speed for him, all he does is stay. He's a smashing jumper and was only getting going at the finish."
Keith Reveley's Vinetta (5-1) came with a wet sail to land the yorkshire-outdoors.co.uk Handicap Hurdle. Colm McCormack, riding his 18th winner, did not give up, despite being several lengths down at the last, and the mare finished with a rare rattle to beat Alta Rock by a length.
2 March 2015McCoy shines on Sivola
Weekend plan for Lincoln hope Boy
Arzal seeking change of luck
Bentelimar booked for Supreme rule
Watering possible at Cheltenham
Wincanton Thursday abandoned
Aintree beckons for Milan
Dundalk unlikely for Byron
Cops on patrol for Pertemps
Sizing team to make late call
Stars on show at Cheltenham
Codd angling for Festival glory
Duke set Carlisle agenda
Prospects bleak at Wincanton
Moon camp wary of Irish threat
Hobbs unveils Cheltenham hopes
Magic McCoy on target with Fredo
Azorian back in winning groove
Berlais lands Auteuil prize
Fred Winter favoured for Berbas
High hopes for Meade Festival team
Cooper seeks Cheltenham riches
Lemaire in hot water in Japan
Reckless camp consider Arkle bid
1 March 2015Cecil runner second at Huntingdon
High hopes for Meade Festival team
Super set for National Duty
Longsdon retains Joe faith
Nolan hoping Noble makes cut
Camping in line for Cup bid
Bin Suroor tribute for Cavalryman
Vautour excites Mullins in workout
Elliott posse work at Leopardstown
Geraghty confirmed for Master
Wayward back on right track
Investment gains Greatwood gold
Bal win delights connections
Glinger burns off Kelso rivals
Pipe proves he's a Soll man
Geraghty shines on Leave It
28 February 2015Festival plans fluid for Cyclone
Walter back for another victory
Irish pair do battle in France
Geraghty: Sprinter will be fitter
Wylie lines up Cheltenham team
Twiston-Davies Blak in business
Divine Bishop on Festival trail
Irish duo set Doncaster poser
Night riding high for Grimthorpe
Glingerburn facing another battle
Pipe targets Aintree with veterans
Carlito primed for Kelso return
McCoy not planning Festival goodbye
Bridge camp praying for rain
Cook suspended from riding
27 February 2015Golantilla in Ballsbridge bid
Safety strikes in Zabeel Mile
Fehily confirms Zarkandar mount
Lieutenant bosses Purcell rivals
Dettori delights on Dubday
Many Clouds goes back to school
Maguire loses appeal
New One at ease for Faugheen clash
Foxrock still in Gold Cup picture
Apache ready to take flight in JLT