Cab fares better

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CAB ON TARGET showed he is no back number with the 15th win of his career in the Light Infantry Plate Handicap Hurdle at Doncaster yesterday. The Mary Reveley-trained nine-year-old, who failed to live up to expectations over fences, confirmed his class as a staying hurdler by defying top- weight and an absence of 77 days to beat Dominant Serenade by three lengths.

Peter Niven kept Cab On Target wide of the field and nothing was going better as he and Dominant Serenade began to draw away from their rivals as they swung into the straight.

Cab On Target was foot perfect over the last two flights of hurdles and gave 26lb to his tail-swishing rival without too much effort. He now heads for a conditions race at Cheltenham on the Friday of the Festival week.

After 20 minutes deliberation the judge called a dead-heat between the favourite Mr Confusion and the front-running Brambleberry in the Pardubice Handicap Hurdle.

Mr Confusion, third in last year's Cambridgeshire and getting 3lb from his rival, would undoubtedly have won had he jumped the last two flights better. It was only his Flat race speed and determination that got him up to share the spoils.

Half an hour later the connections of Brambleberry, trainer Sue Smith and rider Richard Guest, had the winners' circle to themselves when 20- 1 shot One More Dream ran out an easy winner of the Mitsubishi Shogun Trophy Handicap Chase.

The Deep Run eight-year-old, who has suffered from foot problems, ran in special high-heeled shoes yesterday and danced away from Gnome's Tycoon and Rodeo Star after the penultimate fence.

Two outsiders for the Festival's Arkle Challenge Trophy Chase, I Have Him and Jimmy The Gillie, were in the field for the HMS Andromeda Novices' Chase, but both were put in their place by Easthorpe.

I Have Him did not help his cause by pulling Norman Williamson's arms out through the first half-mile and, jumping untidily throughout, he had no answer to Easthorpe's surge up the straight.

The race provided a quick-fire double for Mick Fitzgerald who, like Easthorpe, was diverted from abandoned Newbury.

In the opening Rose Hill National Hunt Novices' Hurdle, the Irishman replaced Tony Dobbin on Go Ballistic, who will take his chance in the Sun Alliance Hurdle if the ground at Cheltenham is not too soft after a confidence-boosting nine-length defeat of Fixturessecretary.

One of the classiest horses to appear on an all-weather track, last year's St Leger fifth Ionio, made a successful return to action at Lingfield Park, the afternoon's only other surviving meeting with Warwick also called off.

The four-year-old, en route to a tilt at the valuable Queen Elizabeth II Cup at Hong Kong on April 1, got the better of the fitter Young Freeman in the Rapporteur Conditions Stakes with the third horse 20 lengths behind.

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