Alben Star (2) gets to Trinityelitedotcom just in timePICTURE: Mark Cranham (racingpost.com/photos)
Owen denied at the death as Alben sprouts wings
Report: Lingfield, Good Friday
bookmakers.co.uk All-Weather Sprint Championships Conditions Stakes (Class 2), 6f AW 4yo+
MICHAEL OWEN will know the feeling all too well but this time was on the receiving end of a late, late sucker punch as Alben Star overhauled the former England footballer's runner Trinityelitedotcom to snare the Sprint.
Owen was on hand to see Trinityelitedotcom seemingly secure a winning advantage late into the home straight only for his run to peter out as rapidly as Alben Star came rushing up to, and by, in the last few yards.
It was in 2009 when Owen scored a memorable 95th-minute winner for Manchester United in the derby with City, but this time he was the one to suffer along with the majority of punters as Alben Star returned at 25-1.
Winning trainer Richard Fahey said: "We have a new vet in the yard who gave him a bit of help the other day and he worked brilliantly last week.
"I told Paul he had a big chance. This was a huge day for him. The handicapper will probably kill him but he will go in all the big sprint handicaps."
Litigant (front and centre) rounds the final bend in the MarathonPICTURE: Edward Whitaker (racingpost.com/photos)
Also on Good Friday
Lingfield: 32Red Casino All-Weather Marathon Championship Conditions Stakes (Class 2) 2m AW 4yo+
AFTER a dream run through the longest race on Good Friday Litigant gave favourite backers a late scare and looked set to lose out when hanging in behind Arch Villain close home, but George Baker was at his best to ensure a well-received win.
The 2-1 favourite enhanced his record for trainer Seamus Durack to three wins and a place in four runs as he gained a further sweet dividend on the £18,500 it took to buy him out of Andre Fabre's yard in France.
George Baker held Litigant in fourth or fifth place throughout the contest, travelling very comfortably, but appeared briefly caught out when Jim Crowley kicked for home on Arch Villain.
Asked to respond, Litigant appeared ready to duck in behind Arch Villain until Baker gathered him for a late thrust that, once organised, paved the way for a tidy win.
"He is a really nice horse but had to go to the course and prove it," said Durack. "This was the biggest test he has had so far and he has delivered again. He is growing in confidence now."
Alben Star - Paul Hanagan wins from Trinityelitedotcom - Richard KingscotePICTURE: Mark Cranham (racingpost.com/photos)
Lingfield: 32Red.com All-Weather 3 Year Old Championship Conditions Stakes (Class 2) 7f AW 3yo
CLASSIC prospect Eritjaal enhanced his claims to a pop at the Qipco 2,000 Guineas next month with a cosy win over the course and distance of his Spring Cup triumph in March.
The William Haggas-trained colt may only have edged out the previously unbeaten Passing Star but winning rider Paul Hanagan looked to have more in hand on the son of Oasis Dream.
"I was quite impressed," said Hanagan.
"He doesn't want to be in the stalls too long. He got a bit upset and I just had to force him and set him alight a bit because he just missed it. It was just to hold a position because he had such a good draw.
"Once I got out and got my position I was always pretty confident."
Owner Hamdan Al Maktoum's assistant racing manager Richard Hills indicated the Guineas could be an option.
"I hope he goes (to the Guineas) but we will talk to Sheikh Hamdan and see what he would like to do," said Hills.
"The horse is still learning, he got injured last year and had had a long time off before his comeback here last month."
Adam Kirby and Living The Life (blinkerd) win by three and a half lengthsPICTURE: Edward Whitaker (racingpost.com/photos)
Lingfield: 32Red.com All-Weather Fillies' And Mares' Championship Conditions Stakes (Class 2), 7f AW 4yo+
ADAM KIRBY is about to be crowned all-weather champion jockey for the second consecutive season and gave a resounding display of riding his rivals to sleep with a fine winning performance on Living The Life to grab the first prize of £93,375.
Kirby's kick for home in the home straight on the 8-1 shot met with little resistance from her 13 rivals to give owner Henry Nothhaft and trainer Phil McEntee a dream win on Britain's first Good Friday raceday.
McEntee said: "We knew this race might cut up so we kept her behind to have a shot at it. Getting Adam booked as well and for the owner to be here, winning a race like that is truly amazing.
"Course and distance form at Lingfield is worth a lot and between that and having Adam on board was a huge asset. All the other fillies that were fancied had never won at the track or were badly drawn.
"Dreams come true, Living The Life what a name, what a day. I am so delighted."
Viewpoint and Cam Hardie win the opening apprentice handicapPICTURE: Edward Whitaker (racingpost.com/photos)
Lingfield: coral.co.uk All-Weather Championships Apprentice Handicap (Class 2), 1m4f AW 4yo+ rated 0-105
THE honour of winning the first race ever staged in Britain on Good Friday went to the Richard Hannon-trained Viewpoint, ridden by 3lb apprentice Cam Hardie.
Hardie had to be forceful to resist the late flourish of 7-2 favourite Grendisar, ridden by Daniel Muscutt, to gain a sixth career win but one that was special for another reason.
"I am over the moon," said Hardie. "The horse is such an easy ride and made it look so easy.
"It's my first winner for the boss and I can't thank him enough. Viewpoint was very fresh and felt great. He had a few runs over the winter which gave him his fitness and he ran a great race.
"The boss told me to have him handy, ride my race and go there to win. That's my sixth win of the year. This is something different from the normal handicaps we have."