Hanna keeps Fairy feet on ground

Behind every star, there is an entourage, and horses are no exception. But in the case of Snow Fairy, one of the fancied contenders for Saturday's Champion Stakes at Newmarket on Saturday, to describe one of her followers as a hanger-on is by no means pejorative in tone. The dual Oaks heroine tends towards exuberant friskiness when she goes out for exercise with her trainer Ed Dunlop's string and has unseated most of those who have sat on her. The exception is Lynsey Hanna, whose sympathetic handling has given a positive direction to the filly's exuberance.

And Dunlop is the first to acknowledge the debt to such back-room talent as Hanna. "A high-spirited horse can be ruined in a minute by the wrong handling," he said yesterday. "It is impossible to stress the importance of the work done by the whole team in any stable."

Hanna, 26, has worked with racehorses since she left school. She rode more than 20 winners in her time as an apprentice jockey with David Barron in Yorkshire before settling for a behind-the-scenes role and has been with Dunlop in Newmarket for six years. And since taking over the stewardship of Snow Fairy during last winter, she has refused to desert her charge for even a day.

"I haven't had a holiday this year," she said cheerfully, "and on my days off, though I'd not work in the yard, I've come in to ride her. I've been in racing for 11 years and I've not had a horse this good and I'm making the most of it."

Hanna's attitude, and the bond she has forged with feisty Snow Fairy, is typical of those who work with horses. "I just love riding her," she said. "In the stable, she's a pleasure to look after. Her favourite thing is eating; she never leaves an oat or any hay and her brown coat comes up like a seal's when it's brushed, just beautiful.

"She not that big, but from on top she never feels as small as she looks, she's got a good shoulder and long stride. She's always thought quite a lot of herself and can be naughty when she's ridden, she'll mess about and throw in a buck or two. But I don't mind; when she does that I know she's in good form and happy. Right now she's bouncing."

The Champion Stakes, the last senior Group One prize of the domestic season, will be Snow Fairy's second try against colts, following her creditable fourth in last month's St Leger, and the drop in trip to Saturday's stiff 10 furlongs will suit her well. "Three out at Doncaster there was only one winner," said Dunlop, "She was cantering all over them. Then her stamina ran out and it was only her guts that let her finish as close as she did."

Snow Fairy's rivals on Saturday will include last year's winner Twice Over, the favourite from Henry Cecil's yard, French raiders Vision D'Etat and Fuisse, and supplemented Godolphin candidate Poet's Voice. Yesterday 15 were left in the £350,000 race, with the field due to be finalised on Thursday.

However Snow Fairy – who carries the colours of her breeder Cristina Patino – fares, this country's most prestigious autumn contest is but a stepping stone to a far more lucrative target next month, when faithful Hanna will escort her to Japan for the Queen Elizabeth II Cup in Kyoto. The first prize is nearly £700,000, which would be doubled if she, as an Oaks winner, won it.

Turf Account

Sue Montgomery's Nap

Danadana (3.10 Leicester)

Made an eyecatching debut in fifth at Wolverhampton last month and can follow the example of two of those who finished in front of him by following up with a victory.



Next Best

Super Sleuth (4.40 Leicester)

Still a maiden, but has been highly tried and is relatively lightly raced. Comes off a break, but drops in class and will have the ground that should suit.



One to Watch

Brother Bob (C E Longsdon) did best of the debutants when third in a novice hurdle at Huntingdon earlier in the month.



Where the Money's Going

Red Cadeaux has been cut from 12-1 to 10-1 third favourite by the sponsors for Saturday's Totesport Cesarewitch at Newmarket.



Chris McGrath's Nap

Swincombe Rock (3.50 Huntingdon)

PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Life and Style
tech

Board creates magnetic field to achieve lift

News
There have been various incidents of social media users inadvertently flouting the law
news

Life and Style
Stack ‘em high?: quantity doesn’t always trump quality, as Friends of the Earth can testify
techThe proliferation of online petitions allows us to register our protests at the touch of a button. But do they change anything?
News
Bourgogne wine maker Laboure-Roi vice president Thibault Garin (L) offers the company's 2013 Beaujolais Nouveau wine to the guest in the wine spa at the Hakone Yunessun spa resort facilities in Hakone town, Kanagawa prefecture, some 100-kilometre west of Tokyo
i100
Sport
CSKA Moscow celebrate after equalising with a late penalty
footballCSKA Moscow 2 Manchester City 2: Premier League champions let two goal lead slip in Russia
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Daily Quiz
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Career Services
iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Trainee Recruitment Consultant - Manchester - Computer Futures

£18000 - £23000 per annum + Commission: SThree: Computer Futures (an SThree br...

SEN Learning Support Assistant

£60 - £110 per day: Randstad Education Group: Youth Support Workers Glouceste...

IT Technician - 1st Line

£19000 - £21000 Per Annum: Clearwater People Solutions Ltd: ***EXCELLENT OPPOR...

PPA Cover Teacher

£110 - £130 per day + Competitive rates of pay: Randstad Education Reading: Pr...

Day In a Page

Indiana serial killer? Man arrested for murdering teenage prostitute confesses to six other murders - and police fear there could be many more

A new American serial killer?

Police fear man arrested for murder of teen prostitute could be responsible for killing spree dating back 20 years
Sweetie, the fake 10-year-old girl designed to catch online predators, claims her first scalp

Sting to trap paedophiles may not carry weight in UK courts

Computer image of ‘Sweetie’ represented entrapment, experts say
Fukushima nuclear crisis: Evacuees still stuck in cramped emergency housing three years on - and may never return home

Return to Fukushima – a land they will never call home again

Evacuees still stuck in cramped emergency housing three years on from nuclear disaster
Wildlife Photographer of the Year: Intimate image of resting lions claims top prize

Wildlife Photographer of the Year

Intimate image of resting lions claims top prize
Online petitions: Sign here to change the world

Want to change the world? Just sign here

The proliferation of online petitions allows us to register our protests at the touch of a button. But do they change anything?
Ed Sheeran hits back after being labelled too boring to headline festivals

'You need me, I don’t need you'

Ed Sheeran hits back after being labelled too boring to headline festivals
How to Get Away with Murder: Shonda Rhimes reinvents the legal drama

How to Get Away with Murder

Shonda Rhimes reinvents the legal drama
A cup of tea is every worker's right

Hard to swallow

Three hospitals in Leicester have banned their staff from drinking tea and coffee in public areas. Christopher Hirst explains why he thinks that a cuppa is every worker's right
Which animals are nearly extinct?

Which animals are nearly extinct?

Conservationists in Kenya are in mourning after the death of a white northern rhino, which has left the species with a single male. These are the other species on the brink
12 best children's shoes

Perfect for leaf-kicking: 12 best children's shoes

Find footwear perfect to keep kids' feet protected this autumn
Anderlecht vs Arsenal: Gunners' ray of light Aaron Ramsey shines again

Arsenal’s ray of light ready to shine again

Aaron Ramsey’s injury record has prompted a club investigation. For now, the midfielder is just happy to be fit to face Anderlecht in the Champions League
Comment: David Moyes' show of sensitivity thrown back in his face by former Manchester United manager Sir Alex Ferguson

Moyes’ show of sensitivity thrown back in his face... by Ferguson

Manchester United legend tramples on successor who resisted criticising his inheritance
Two super-sized ships have cruised into British waters, but how big can these behemoths get?

Super-sized ships: How big can they get?

Two of the largest vessels in the world cruised into UK waters last week
British doctors on brink of 'cure' for paralysis with spinal cord treatment

British doctors on brink of cure for paralysis

Sufferers can now be offered the possibility of cure thanks to a revolutionary implant of regenerative cells
Ranked seventh in world’s best tourist cities - not London, or Edinburgh, but Salisbury

Lonely Planet’s Best in Travel 2015

UK city beats Vienna, Paris and New York to be ranked seventh in world’s best tourist destinations - but it's not London