Alinko Prince breaks through for Marton Cup win Sat, 07 Jan 2017

Richard Edmunds
Alinko Prince (Johnathan Parkes) delivers a local win in the Marton Cup.
Alinko Prince (Johnathan Parkes) delivers a local win in the Marton Cup.
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Alinko Prince snapped a run of second placings with a hard-fought win over Jacksstar in today’s Listed Gallagher Marton Cup at Trentham, putting him on course for the Wellington Cup later this month.

The Alamosa gelding, a half-brother to the well-performed Thorn Prince, came into today’s $55,000 feature with runner-up finishes in all of his last three appearances – the Listed Feilding Gold Cup, the Waverley Cup and the Chalmers Handicap.

Jacksstar, who narrowly beat Alinko Prince in the Chalmers, went on to claim the Gr. 3 Manawatu Cup. As a result there was a weight swing in Alinko Prince’s favour today, with Jacksstar carrying 57.5 kilograms to Alinko Prince’s 57. Alinko Prince had carried 58.5 kilograms in the Chalmers, with Jacksstar on 54.

That difference may have proved crucial. Alinko Prince and Jacksstar both came from the back of the field with perfectly timed runs, striding to the lead side by side in the last 150 metres. Jacksstar fought hard on the inside, but Alinko Prince and rider Johnathan Parkes got the upper hand and edged away to win by three-quarters of a length.

Bred and raced by Bromley Bloodstock, Alinko Prince gave his trainer Fraser Auret a first win in his local cup.

“Being from Marton, this is a lovely thrill,” Auret said. “We’ve got a big enough mortgage, so it’s nice to have a Cup to say that we’ve done something there!

“That was a very good win. He’s a horse who can sometimes pull himself up if he gets to the front too early, so it was good to see him do that today. We took the blinkers off and replaced them with visor blinkers in the hope that he might see the others coming, and it was a perfect ride from Johnathan.”

Alinko Prince has won six of his 22 starts, placing in another six and earning more than $90,000 in stakes.

With gaps of 20 days and 35 days between his last two appearances, Alinko Prince now faces a relatively short turnaround leading into his primary summer target – the Gr. 3 Wallaceville Estate Wellington Cup on January 21.

“He doesn’t love firm ground, which is why he hadn’t raced for 40-odd days leading into today,” Auret explained. “But we thought this would be a lovely pipe-opener leading into the Wellington Cup, and we’ll go down to the beach with him between now and then to get him ready for that.”

The TAB now rates Alinko Prince a $7 chance in the 3200-metre feature, sharing second favouritism with Jacksstar. The market leader at $4.50 is the highly talented South Island raider Bloodstream.

The well-bred Echezeaux, who caught the eye with a late finish into third place today, is rated a $10 chance in the Wellington Cup.