Racing: Superior Premium's big payout

Glorious Goodwood: Northern raider proves the linchpin for Trifecta backers in the Stewards' Cup
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The Independent Online
THOSE Trifecta punters who took out insurance among the high-drawn horses in the Stewards' Cup her yesterday were rewarded with a Superior Premium.

The four-year-old colt of that name who won the race that is one of the most savage betting heats of the season emerged from stall 28 of 30; he was followed in by Ansellman (25), Eastern Purple (29) and Nigrasine (23).

The old grey Ansellman, admitted to the race only after a computer error was rectified at the 11th hour, made a gallant attempt to justify his inclusion as he led his 28 rivals in a do-or-die charge down the undulating six furlongs. His eight-year-old legs kept up the gallop to such an extent that the only one able to get to him was Superior Premium, brought by the 18-year-old apprentice Robert Winston to take him inside the final half- furlong.

But such was the winner's impetus that victory was, in the end, a rather comfortable length and a half. Ansellman held Eastern Purple by half a length, with the same distance back to Nigrasine. Harmonic Way came in fifth with Night Shot, the first to finish on the stands side, sixth.

The first four were not only all raiders from the North, but the winner and third actually live in the same stable, that of Richard Fahey at Malton. No doubt the second half of the 550-mile round trip from Yorkshire felt suitably glorious.

Superior Premium, a dark brown son of Forzando built in typical bull- necked, rear-engined sprinting mould, was something of a bargain buy, having cost just 2,000 guineas as a crooked-legged yearling. Yesterday's pounds 40,000 victory, his third in succession, brought his earnings to more than pounds 100,000 for his owners Jim Parsons and J J Gilmartin.

Fahey, 32, has made more of a mark as a trainer than he did in a fairly undistinguished spell as a jockey, and enjoys his second career much more, too. Yesterday's was his biggest win to date.

"You are far more involved with the horses as a trainer", he said, "and so there is more satisfaction when you get it right, and more of a buzz.

"This horse certainly deserved to win a decent prize, as he had been third in both the Ayr Gold Cup last year and the Wokingham Stakes at Royal Ascot this time. He's an easy horse to train, gives us no problems at home. And the more he has raced the straighter that leg has got."

Fahey, brother-in-law of his fellow Malton trainer Tim Easterby, has ambitious plans for his pair of sprinters of whom he actually rates the big, white-faced Eastern Purple the better. Both are entered in the Group One Sprint Cup over six furlongs at Haydock later this month.

"I fancied one as much as the other today," he added, "but I think Eastern Purple could be a real star one day."

The 150th running of the Stewards' Cup marked the first Tote Trifecta, a bet promising a large return to a small outlay for those who managed to predict the first three in the correct order. With 1-2-3 starting prices of 14-1, 33-1 and 20-1 the task was not that simple, but some managed it and the holders of the 14.39 winning units were rewarded with a dividend of pounds 6,311 to a pounds 1 stake, which compared rather well with the bookmakers' alternative, the tricast, which paid out pounds 4,192.88.

The Trifecta, with an inaugural pool of pounds 127,909.93, succeeded beyond its instigators' wildest expectations. The second edition of what promises to be a successful and welcome addition to the British betting portfolio takes place today at Newcastle in the 49's Handicap.

Alborada earned herself a tilt at the best with a doughty half-length defeat of Digitalize in the Group Two Nassau Stakes, the second most prestigious contest of the week.

Again, the first two were the only ones concerned in the race at any point; Digitalize led until inside the final half-furlong, at which point George Duffield, still, at the age of 51, one of the strongest of jockeys in a finish, sent Alborada to the front and persuaded her to stay half a length ahead of her rival.

The grey filly was keeping the race in the family, as two years ago her aunt Last Second was the winner. Sir Mark Prescott was the successful trainer in both instances, but though Kirsten Rausing bred both fillies, she owns only the latest winner, having sold last Second as a yearling.

Alborada, a daughter of Alzao, will, in time, join her mother Alouette and grandmother Alruccaba in Rausing's paddocks at her Lanwades Stud near Newmarket. Before that she has the Irish Champion Stakes pencilled in. Prescott said: "The colts may be too good for her, but we must have a go. This filly is possibly not as inherently brilliant as Last Second, but she has a much better constitution and that has made her as good."

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