A gear switch proved an inspired move after Alinko Prince produced a strong staying performance yesterday to provide his trainer Fraser Auret with a sentimental victory in his home feature.
The strapping son of Alamosa was a deserved winner of the Listed Gallagher Marton Cup at Trentham following runner-up finishes in each of his previous three appearances.
Alinko Prince was narrowly beaten in the Feilding Cup, the Waverley Cup and in the Chalmers Hcp before gaining a major reward.
"It's a massive thrill and I've got a big mortgage there so it's nice to have a Cup to show for it!" the Marton-based Auret said.
"We took the blinkers off and put the visor blinkers on in the hope he could see the others - if he gets to the front too soon he can switch off."
Alinko Prince's odds for the Gr.3 Wallaceville Estate Wellington Cup were cut from $16 to $7 following his defeat of Jacksstar, who shares the same quote for the Trentham feature on January 21.
"He's a beautiful, big, raw sort of horse and he doesn't love the firm ground and that's why he hadn't raced for 40 days before this," Auret said. "I thought it would be a lovely pipe opener into the Wellington Cup for him."
Prepared by Auret for long-time stable client and breeder John Bromley, Alinko Prince raced at the back of the field under rider Johnathan Parkes before edging closer across the top.
The five-year-old responded valiantly to Parkes' urgings in the closing 150 metres to reel in Jacksstar and score by three-quarters of a length with Echezeaux finishing third in front of the pacemaker China Star.
- NZ Racing Desk.