Snow bother for Princess

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The Independent Online
THE last big betting heat of the Flat season went the punters' way when Snow Princess ran out a ready winner of the Tote Credit November Handicap at Doncaster yesterday. The 5-1 favourite forged to the front two furlongs out and stayed on strongly under Richard Hills to hold Dato Star.

It was the fourth successive success for the improving three-year-old filly, trained by Lord Huntingdon for the Weinstock family. Her winning streak started just five weeks ago, and after she scored at Newmarket last Saturday, Hills decided to delay his departure to Dubai, where he rides during the winter, to partner her yesterday.

The jockey said: "She has got better and better with each run, and Sheikh Hamdan, who I ride for in Dubai, said I could stay and ride her, and wished me luck. She was always travelling well, and I had a clear run all the way. It was a great way to finish the season."

Dato Star was well clear of the Chris Thornton stablemates Secret Service and Lord Hastie, who were followed in by Foundry Lane and John's Act. Like last year's November Handicap victrix Saxon Maid, Snow Princess, a daughter of Ela-Mana-Mou, will step up in class next season.

The Listed sprint, the Keepmoat Holdings Stakes, also went to a female, but this time not so predictably. The 20-1 shot Carranita, owned by seven Welshmen and trained by Bryn Palling in Glamorgan, stole the race when Tim Sprake shot her clear of the pack two furlongs out, and had enough in hand to repel the late challenge of another mare, the unlucky-in-running Branston Abby.

Elsewhere, the focus was on jumpers as their season began to swing into gear. At Chepstow ex-Irish Hill Of Tullow made an impressive debut for David Nicholson's yard in the Rising Stars Novices' Chase when he beat Berude Not To, another for whom top fencing honours are predicted. The two sons of Roselier rose together at the last after jumping well throughout, with Hill Of Tullow, the bigger, rangier individual, just the stronger on the run-in under an immaculate ride from Adrian Maguire.

Highly regarded ex-pointer Cherrynut unseated Tony McCoy at the water, but his trainer Paul Nicholls celebrated four years of training to the day when General Crack gave him his 100th winner in the following race.

The Jenny Pitman-trained Jibber The Kibber, the 40-1 winner of the Tote Silver Trophy Handicap, will next tackle the Long Walk Hurdle at Ascot before embarking on the chasing career for which he looks tailor-made. The runner-up Conquering Leader, who travelled well throughout, would have been closer but for a mistake at the penultimate flight, and Silver Wedge, one of last season's leading juveniles, ran a fine race in third place on his first attempt against his elders.

At Wincanton David Elsworth's Champion Hurdle hope Atours landed the odds in the Tanglefoot Elite Hurdle, but it was not until the turn for home that the seven-year-old began to race. A combination of sloppy jumping and dislike of the fast ground put him well behind in the early stages, but once he took Clifton Beat's measure at the last he powered clear.

And over at Navan, two of Ireland's best performers, the staying hurdler Dorans Pride and the chaser Sound Man, both won.