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02/05/02 Hibernian Prince Makes it Back to Back Grand Annuals
8hibernianprince.jpg (10249 bytes)The Eric Musgrove trained gelding Hibernian Prince has etched his name into the history books when he made it back to back victories in this afternoon's $120,000 Grand Annual Steeplechase at Warrnambool.

Hibernian Prince became just the tenth horse in the 5500 metre race's history to win back to back runnings of the prestigious event. The last horse to win consecutive runnings of the Grand Annual was Hoki in 1995 and 1996.

The win also was a historic one for leading cross country jockey Brian Constable. Already having won nearly all of the country's leading jumping events Constable had been a maiden in the Warrnambool feature until this afternoon.

Hibernian Prince, who finished a game second to the grey Ballata in the Great Eastern Steeplechase at Oakbank over Easter, sat close to the action in today's race and then drew clear over the final stages to win by three and a quarter lengths.

Second home was the John Wheeler trained Crafty Dancer, while Sampan Man finished third. The $2.90 favourite Hadawine, from the Jim Houlahan stable, weakened over the final stages to finish in fourth place.

All but four of the field managed to finish the gruelling event. Two horses lost their riders, one fell and one was pulled up.

PIC - Jenny Barnes

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