By Simon Jackson at Lingfield.
Michael Owen admitted he was left frustrated by the head defeat of his Trinityelitedotcom in the £150,000 bookmakers.co.uk All-Weather Sprint Championships at Lingfield Park on Good Friday.
The consistent Trinityelitedotcom is owned by Manor House Racing Club and trained by Owen’s business partner, Tom Dascombe, at the former England international striker’s Manor House Stables in Cheshire.
The four-year-old took control a furlong out when he skipped three lengths clear under Richard Kingscote, only to be caught on the line by Alben Star.
“When you lead every yard of the way and just get nabbed on the line, it is frustrating. But there you go, that’s racing, and he has lost nothing in defeat,” Owen said of the son of Elusive City who has now won six and been placed eight times in 17 starts.
“The horse does nothing but please. He is an absolute superstar. He is tough and game with the heart of a lion. He always pleases us.”
The sprint was one of six races on the card that offered prize money of £150,000 or more; on historic day that attracted almost 9,000 spectators to the first race meeting in England on a Good Friday.
“I think it has been a fantastic day,” Owen continued. “Racegoers have come in their droves, there is big prize money and the whole winter has been the better for the better prize money.”
Winning trainer Richard Fahey said: “Alben Star worked brilliantly last week and I told Paul [Hanagan – jockey] he had a big chance. They went a full flat-out gallop and it was a good honest-run race today which suited us.
“Today was our Derby and this was a huge day for the horse. I hope the handicapper doesn’t kill him and he’ll be entered in all the big sprint handicaps. I’d be surprised if he could step up much more on this.”
The victory completed a double on the day for Hanagan, who had earlier won the 32Red All-Weather 3 Year Old Championship Conditions Stakes on Ertijaal. “They went a really good gallop and when he gets that strong pace he loves it. I’m delighted for the owners,” Hanagan said.
“I was confident I had it on the line and I gave him a pat down the neck.”
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