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Art Scholar and Franny Norton finished with a flourish to win the November Handicap at Doncaster

Updated: Saturday, 10 Nov 2012 23:24 | Comments

Art Scholar and Franny Norton forge ahead of Communicator (nearside) and Voodoo Prince (white cap) to win the November Handicap
Art Scholar and Franny Norton forge ahead of Communicator (nearside) and Voodoo Prince (white cap) to win the November Handicap

Art Scholar swooped late to claim the final big race of the Flat season, the Betfred November Handicap.

The Michael Appleby-trained five-year-old (20-1) was a spare ride for Franny Norton, who produced his mount to perfection inside the final furlong to beat Communicator by three-quarters of a length.

The runner-up looked like he would win after himself hitting the front late on, but Norton's mount showed a smart turn of foot on the far side of runners when in the clear to seal matters.

The much-touted First Mohican could never get on terms and was done no favours by his wide draw.

Norton, standing in for Darryll Holland, said: "He travelled round sweetly. Mr Appleby said to hang on to him and don't get there too soon.

"I got him there ready and thought it as still a bit early but he's come through with his run and kept it up."

Norton added: "It's the last big handicap of the year, so it's nice to get it in the bag.

"I knew nothing about the horse. It was a late spare ride. I spoke to the people before the race and he came into it with a live chance.

"This lad is proven on soft ground and it all unfolded nicely for me. When I asked him to go he did it well.

"It's been a good year. I got a lengthy ban, we got over that and it's ended with a bang."

Newark-based Appleby was celebrating his biggest success in two and a half years as a trainer, and his 37th of the year.

He said: "Darryll (Holland) wasn't very well so we got Franny.

"I bought him at Ascot Sales for #600. He came from Gary Moore and was rated 49 when we got him.

"I'd been watching him at Brighton in April last year when he was behind one of my horses over seven furlongs. On breeding I thought he'd stay a mile-two and a mile-four.

"He's improving and I think he'll be even better next year. I ride him out every day and he's a character.

"We might take him out to Dubai in the winter. I could do with a holiday."

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