Kris Lees maintained his run of success in Brisbane this season but had to hold on to the win in the Doomben stewards’ room after connections of hot favourite Axe fired in a protest.

Andrew Mallyon, rider of winner Snowzone, was adamant he was going to win and told stewards if he had been beaten on crossing the line he would have fired in a protest against Axe.

Promising sprinter Axe was sent out the raging $1.90 favourite in the $75,000 Class 6 Plate (1200m) and many punters who piled into him thought they may have got the chocolates in a deceptive finish.

But the judge ruled Australian Bloodstock-owned Snowzone, sent out $16 after being well beaten at Rosehill in his last two starts, had won by a nose.

It was off to the stewards’ room to sort things out after Axe’s jockey Jag Guthmann-Chester lodged a protest alleging interference in the last 100m after the horses bumped.

Guthmann-Chester told stewards Axe would have won but for the horses coming together when Snowzone shifted out.

However Mallyon was having none of it.

“If I didn’t win the race we would still be in here (stewards’ room),” Mallyon said, alleging Axe had shifted in on him to cause the initial interference

Chief steward Peter Chadwick dismissed the protest, ruling Axe had instigated the interference when shifting in slightly in the first instance.

Mel Eggleston, who manages the Lees stable on the Gold Coast, said Doomben continued to be a happy hunting zone for Snowzone who has now won five of his seven career starts at the track.

“He just loves this track, he is a miniature Chief De Beers,” Eggleston quipped.

“He goes no good across the road at Eagle Farm, but he loves this track.”

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